South Africans need to fight institutionalised corruption‚ greed and state capture through mobilised activism that leads to action in the streets – if we are to have an impact.
That is the advice from ANC MP and former finance minister Pravin Gordhan.
He told delegates at the Ethics and Energy conference at Stellenbosch University yesterday that the country had an economic system which incentivised corruption and rewarded greed.
“With the kind of economic system that dominates‚ the social standards by which people are judged actually incentivises corruption, because greed is a key driver of economic behaviour‚” Gordhan said.
“One of the biggest diseases we need to sort out is the disease of greed. That is what breaks institutions and turns individuals towards particular forms of behaviour.”
Gordhan was at the event to accept the Order of the Baobab from the Business Ethics Network of Africa (BEN-Africa).
The award is given annually to a prominent individual for going to extraordinary lengths to promote organisational ethics in Africa.
BEN-Africa president Liezl Groenewald said Gordhan was fighting the struggle against unethical leadership and unethical business conduct.
“He has done so at great cost to himself and to his loved ones‚” Groenewald said.
She said he had inspired civil society to emulate his resilience and pursuit of justice.
Gordhan said more South Africans were becoming aware of the levels of corruption in the country and dishonesty was not limited to the government.