Protecting & Strengthening Core Institutions

Business Believes in the importance of strong, autonomous and effective institutions, which has been demonstrated in recent months, and is true for the key institutions of economic management and of constitutional governance.

Business Leadership South Africa has increased its engagements with, and support for, civil society around shared principles.

In BUSA and BLSA’s recent submission to the SACP imbizo we stated:

Business stands for a South Africa where:

  • The Constitution is the foundation of our society, polity and economy; a society where the Constitution is respected, our state and Chapter 9 institutions are independent from external influence, and the rule of law is respected and prevails.
  • The state is strong and capable. This requires a stronger appreciation for our institutions and an emphasis on the importance of their strength as well as ensuring accountability.
  • Acknowledgment that an inclusive economy can only be built on the foundation of a thriving business sector.
  • We are not party political.
  • We are patriots and are ready and willing to play our role in building the progressive vision for the country envisaged in the Constitution.
  • We can only achieve South Africa’s potential if the state, business, labour, and civil society work hand-in-hand.

The Future of South Africa’s “Six-Pack for Eliminating State Capture and Building State Integrity” (endorsed by the BLSA)

#1 State capture must be rooted out and its perpetrators brought to justice 

  • An urgent, independently constituted judicial commission of inquiry should investigate the issues raised by the Public Protector.
  • Special, clean, investigative and prosecuting teams with credible leadership should be constituted immediately to pursue all state capture cases without fear or favour.
  • Al spheres of the public sector should be decisively rid of corrupt activity. Implicated persons should be dismissed and prosecuted.
  • Anti-corruption efforts are a social responsibility in which civil society, political parties and companies should have a legally enforceable duty to positively combat corruption.

#2 The nuclear programme must be halted

  • A moratorium should be called on all activities related to procurement of nuclear energy for at least two years.
  • An objective and independent assessment of the country’s energy needs should be completed within that period with no artificial limitations on specific energy sources.
  • Transparent, fair and fully compliant processes should be followed in all energy procurement.

#3 The credibility, independence and capability of the criminal justice system must be restored 

  • Competent professionals of integrity should be appointed to lead the SAPS, Hawks, NPA and the intelligence services. These services should act fairly, in the national interest and entirely without political interference.
  • Political influence in the Judicial Services Commission should be removed to secure the independence and quality of the judiciary.
  • Rule of law must be established immediately.

#4 Our democratic process must be protected and strengthened

  • The independence, integrity and capability of the Independent Electoral Commission and all Chapter 9 institutions should be assured.
  • All funding of political parties should be transparent. Political parties should be prohibited from having business interests.
  • The critical oversight role of Parliament should be strengthened and public engagement with Parliament improved.
  • The media should be protected to enable it to operate freely, independently and without fear of intimidation.

#5 The public sector must serve the people, not politicians

  • Party-political deployment throughout the public sector should be eliminated. With due regard for transformation and equity, all senior appointments and removals should be made through a merit-based, objective commission process in which vested interests play no role.
  • Legitimate whistleblowing should be encouraged and whistleblowers provided with adequate protection.
  • Best-practice and transparent procurement policies should be enforced throughout the state, by the end of 2017.
  • Competent professionals of integrity should lead National Treasury, SARS, the Chief Procurement Office, the Accountant General, the Financial Intelligence Centre and the Public Investment Corporation.
  • The independence of the SA Reserve Bank must be respected.

#6 State-owned companies must be cleaned up

  • Full investigations into corruption and misgovernance at all SOCs must be launched, followed by the removal of those found to be corrupt and their replacement by credible, experienced leaders.
  • Government should exercise policy direction over SOCs through explicit, rational policy mandates agreed to by cabinet and overseen by Parliament. All other political interference should be removed.
  • SOC boards and executives should be appointed on the principle of representative merit through a commission process. Boards should operate on sound corporate governance principles.