The South African movement toward anti-corruption reform
Pretoria, 8-9 November 2023 – UNODC supported the two-day National Anti-Corruption Dialogue on building a corruption-free South Africa convened by the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council (NACAC).
In an all-of-society approach, the Dialogue, introduced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, convened multiple stakeholders including civil society organisations, traditional leaders, academia, public sector, media, private sector, and international partners who are involved and will be involved in the prevention and fight against corruption in the country and in the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).
President Ramaphosa, in his key-note speech said “while there is a long road ahead, the fight against corruption is gaining momentum. […] We meet here as diverse constituencies, but with a common purpose. We are here to identify the further measures we need to take to build a South Africa that does not allow for corruption or capture. We are here to strengthen our shared determination to build an ethical society founded on the values of our democratic Constitution.”
Ms. Maria Adomeit, Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor for Southern Africa, remarked that “anti-corruption efforts can only be sustainable if they are inclusive” and underlined the importance of amplifying every voice that speaks up against corruption.
In August 2022, the President appointed the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, a multi-sectoral advisory body tasked with overseeing the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) and to advise on the future of the country’s anti-corruption institutional architecture. The work of the NACAC also with advising the President on effective responses to the recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, also known as the Zondo Commission. The nine council members have been drawn from civil society, academia, business, and labour, following a public call to individuals to be nominated based on their engagement and role in society in efforts to counter corruption.
The work of the NACAC is divided into workstreams on the topics of public procurement reform, whistle-blower protection, monitoring and evaluation of the NACS; proposals on anti-corruption architecture in South Africa, legislation and transparency and communication and awareness raising to improve active citizenry. The dialogue aimed at raising awareness on the different workstreams and identifying potential gaps within these and to mobilize the broader society to actively support the implementation of the NACS and the proposals made by the workstreams.
Towards these objectives, the first day of the Dialogue saw presentations from South Africa’s Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the Chairperson of NACAC, Professor Firoz Cachalia, and from Prof. Christopher Stone from Oxford University, which set the tone for the rest of the discussions. On the second day, discussions revolved around the strategic pillars of the NACS, namely, communication, legislation and transparency, whistle-blower protection and support, public procurement reform, anti-corruption institutional architecture and NACS monitoring, evaluation, research and learning.
UNODC is financially supporting the work of the NACAC, in collaboration with other development partners, including GIZ, Germany, Switzerland and the European Union.