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Govern­ment, labour and busi­ness have spo­ken out in a united voice against cor­rup­tion and the neg­a­tive ef­fects it has on eco­nomic growth.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of th­ese three sec­tors met re­cently at the 22nd Na­tional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment and Labour Coun­cil (Ned­lac) Sum­mit.

Ad­dress­ing the gath­er­ing, Deputy Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa said un­less cor­rup­tion and pa­tron­age were dealt with, rad­i­cal eco­nomic trans­for­ma­tion, growth stim­u­la­tion and job cre­ation would re­main pipe dreams.

“Cor­rup­tion im­pedes growth and re­dis­tri­bu­tion… Ei­ther we con­front cor­rup­tion de­ci­sively and de­lib­er­ately and thereby nur­ture the green shoots of an eco­nomic re­cov­ery, or we al­low cor­rupt prac­tices to con­tinue unchecked and con­sign our peo­ple to poverty for gen­er­a­tions to come.

“This is the time when we must take a stand as busi­ness, govern­ment, labour and com­mu­nity to end wrong­do­ing, pun­ish those re­spon­si­ble and re­cover stolen re­sources,” he said.

Ned­lac is a body which seeks to ad­dress the chal­lenges of cre­at­ing sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth for poverty al­le­vi­a­tion and job cre­ation.

The Deputy Pres­i­dent said cor­rup­tion and un­eth­i­cal con­duct threaten the coun­try's shared fu­ture. He im­pressed upon Ned­lac to po­si­tion it­self as the spear­head of an eth­i­cal econ­omy.

Busi­ness Unity South Africa rep­re­sen­ta­tive Martin Kingston said cor­rup­tion needed to be ad­dressed de­ci­sively.

“Cor­rup­tion is a sig­nif­i­cant bar­rier to South Africa's sus­tain­able eco­nomic, po­lit­i­cal and so­cial progress. The neg­a­tive im­pact of cor­rup­tion on the econ­omy and on South Africa's abil­ity to de­liver in­clu­sive growth and trans­for­ma­tion can­not be ig­nored.

“Cor­rup­tion not only dis­cour­ages long-term in­vest­ment; it also increases the risk of fur­ther sov­er­eign down­grades. Cor­rup­tion will con­tinue to go unchecked un­til proper ac­count­abil­ity, trans­parency and cred­i­ble over­sight mea­sures are put into place.

It's im­por­tant for busi­ness to take de­ci­sive ac­tion to root out cor­rup­tion. In­tegrity needs to be en­trenched,” said Kingston.

Congress of South African Trade Unions Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Bheki Nt­shal­intshali said good gov­er­nance is a pre­req­ui­site for all or­gan­i­sa­tions.

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