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.