PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela said there were areas where public sector wrongdoings are due to acts of collusion with private sector actors.
Speaking about governance and regulation in South Africa at the Wits Business School (WBS), Madonsela also touched on corruption in the country, governance and the contentious Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB).
“Where there is corruption, it is principally a matter of collusion between private persons and state actors. Clearly a lot of the corruption that concerns us as a nation involves huge amounts of money particularly in the state procurement system,” Madonsela said.
Madonsela said that her office has been asked to put the spotlight on the country’s health system.
Chief among the problems in the health sector, Madonsela noted are the “uncaring attitudes by health professionals and procurement irregularities, including corruption, leading to lack of medical supplies and essential hospital equipment”.
In fighting corruption in the country, Madonsela recognised the importance of the media and academic community to her office.
“The contribution of the media and the academic community in promoting public dialogue on the place and role of my office in our democracy as well as specific activities, including reports, can never be over emphasised”, she said.
On the day when the national assembly in parliament approved the Protection of State Information Bill, dubbed the “Secrecy Bill” in media circles, Madonsela said that there have been improvements in the bill, as the act now offers protection to whistle-blowers.
She encouraged whistleblowers to step forward and provide information to her office. “We have persistently called for the strengthening of whistle-blower protection…We use all available legislative powers of my office to ensure such protection”.
On governance in the country, Madosnela said that good governance involves the exercise of transparency by entrusted power.
She added: “Good decisions are obviously those made in the best interests of the people that have entrusted the decision-makers with power and the broader stakeholder community”.
Madonsela urged citizens to not turn a blind eye to corruption.
“It is said that evil prospers not because of the might of evil people but because of the silence of good people…There can be no true peace anywhere as long as there is injustice somewhere”.