State cap­ture

CityPress - - Business - LE­SETJA MALOPE le­setja.malope@city­press.co.za

Big busi­ness in the coun­try should fo­cus its ef­forts on fight­ing state cap­ture and po­lit­i­cal par­ties should dis­close their sources of fund­ing, said newly ap­pointed CEO of Busi­ness Lead­er­ship SA (BLSA) and out­go­ing chair­per­son of Shell SA Bo­nang Mo­hale. He was de­liv­er­ing his chair­per­son’s re­port in Jo­han­nes­burg.

“This is a chair­man’s re­port. I am re­port­ing to you, the cus­to­di­ans of our vi­brant, re­silient, so­phis­ti­cated econ­omy. My 2017 mes­sage to you is: for busi­ness, de­fend­ing our Con­sti­tu­tion and elim­i­nat­ing the scourge of state cap­ture is now core busi­ness,” said Mo­hale, who is the cur­rent deputy chair­per­son of the BLSA. Mo­hale said the BLSA also wanted po­lit­i­cal par­ties to dis­close their sources of fund­ing. The BLSA had de­vel­oped a list of six re­forms, the State In­tegrity Six Pack, which are meant to turn the coun­try around.

The six pro­posed re­forms in­clude a call for a ju­di­cial in­quiry into state cap­ture as well as an im­me­di­ate probe into the Gupta email leaks; a twoyear sus­pen­sion of all ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to the nu­clear pro­gramme; the de­politi­ci­sa­tion, pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion and reg­u­lar­i­sa­tion of the pub­lic sec­tor; the restora­tion of in­de­pen­dence, ca­pac­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity of key in­sti­tu­tions of jus­tice; the adop­tion of best prac­tice pro­cure­ment poli­cies through­out the state en­abled by the Pref­er­en­tial Pro­cure­ment Pol­icy Frame­work Act; and for all po­lit­i­cal party fund­ing sources to be pub­licly dis­closed.

Mo­hale called on busi­ness to act be­fore it was too late. “We are pa­tri­otic South Africans and we all live here. We are heav­ily in­vested in the na­tional project of free­dom and a bet­ter life for all our cit­i­zens.

“Our pedes­trian econ­omy can only flour­ish within a sound and ro­bust con­sti­tu­tional or­der with a ca­pa­ble state; among oth­ers, a well­func­tion­ing jus­tice sys­tem, Na­tional Trea­sury, SA Rev­enue Ser­vice, SA Re­serve Bank, Au­di­tor-Gen­eral – these are non-ne­go­tiable.”

He pointed out that state cap­ture could lead to cor­po­rate cap­ture once preda­tory in­ter­ests had pen­e­trated state or­gans.

“The ben­e­fi­cia­ries of state cap­ture and cor­rup­tion prance around as busi­ness­men. But they are not what we mean by busi­ness. They are com­mon crim­i­nals and thieves [who are] de­stroy­ing and not build­ing value.

“We as hard-work­ing, hon­est, en­tre­pre­neur­ial, pa­tri­otic busi­nesses have a rep­u­ta­tion to pro­tect.” Mo­hale added that busi­nesses needed to be prin­ci­pled and not sup­port or op­pose any fac­tion of any party.

Mo­hale’s ap­point­ment was an­nounced on Wed­nes­day and will be ef­fec­tive from next month, while his term as chair­per­son of Shell comes to an end later this month. He re­places Thero Setiloane, whose term ended in De­cem­ber.

Bo­nang Mo­hale

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