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The 9th International Anti-Corruption Conference

The Papers

Address by his Worship the Metro Mayor, Councillor
Obed Mlaba at the opening of the 9th International
Anti-Corruption Conference

One of the hallmarks of South Africa's democratic transition has been the extent to which transparency has proliferated. Whether it is in the sphere of business-labour relations, sports organisation, or the three levels of government, what is clear is that significant demystification has taken place. Ordinary people now know more about tile mechanisms of Government, the salary packages of their bosses of the machinations of their sports administrators than they ever did in the past.

Such transparency and accessibility on a national scale have served to expose corruption to the extent that is was not possible to do in the past. Some are therefore misled into believing that mismanagement, misappropriation, fraud and corrupt practices generally are tile by-products of the new dispensation. They cannot be more wrong.

South African society, whilst afflicted by the scourge of corruption is no different from most developed nations in this regard. Our policies of transparency that characterise the initial phase of democratisation have been directly aimed at unpacking the political baggage of our past. These are policies aimed at development, at encouraging investment and at boosting investor confidence. South Africa leads the rest of Africa in this quest.

The tidal wave of crime and corruption must be fought at every level. With this in mind the city of Durban, which has an outstanding record in financial management and undermining misappropriation, has set up a multi-disciplinary investigative team. If someone blows the whistle our team of legal, financial, human resource and other technical experts swing into action. They collect evidence and test allegations thereafter recommending appropriate internal or external measures depending on the seriousness of the misdemeanour.

Importantly, issues of corruption need to be reported on responsibly. Sensational reporting sometimes gives the impression that government is not in control and yet exposing corruption is possible only because government is in control.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are to be addressed by distinguished experts during the course of your deliberations in Durban. I have attempted to share with you some of my own thoughts on the matter within the time constraints I face. My task however is to bid you a warm welcome to metro Durban and wish you well in your discussions.

Thank you.

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