On Thursday 11 February, President Cyril Ramaphosa distinctly laid out four pillars for 2021, including the management of Covid-19, accelerating economic recovery, creating employment opportunities and growth, as well as an adjusted anti-corruption strategy.
With corruption being one of the greatest hurdles for South Africa’s growth and development, it is clear that decisive action was needed. During the state of the nation address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of an independent National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council. Described as a multi-sectoral body that will oversee the initial implementation of the strategy and the establishment of an independent statutory anti-corruption body that reports to Parliament.
The Council will be key in the oversight of the Fusion Centre, formed last year, which brought together South African law enforcement and the intelligence community, including the National Prosecuting Authority, the Special Investigating Unit, Financial Intelligence Centre, South African Revenue Service, and Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation. Read more about the Fusion Centre here.
Despite criticism around the formation of yet another governing body, it does highlight the seriousness the State is taking to address corruption. The Fusion Centre has already preserved or recovered millions of rands in public funds, including the recent SIU investigations into 164 contracts with a total value of R3.5 billion. Read more about recent developments here.