Korrupsie gedryf deur globale ekonomie sê kenner by Wynlande-konferensie

Mense in die openbare sektor wat hulself aan korrupsie skuldig maak, doen dit om ʼn verskeidenheid van redes. Dis sluit in die gevoel dat hulle daarop geregtig is omdat hulle nie hul “verdiende” bevordering gekry het nie; hulle mag voel dat hulle voorsiening moet maak in die behoeftes van hul gesinne; hulle kan ook voel dat dit ʼn mindere oortreding is om van ʼn groot organisasie te steel as van ʼn individu.

Prof Gavin Woods, Direkteur van ACCERUS, prof John Benington van die Warwick Universiteit, prof Goos Minderman, Zijlstra Sentrum vir Openbare Beheer en Bestuur en mnr Rob de Vos, Konsul-Generaal van die Nederlande in New York by die Wynlande 2012 Konferensie.

So sê prof Gavin Woods, Direkteur van die Sentrum vir Opvoeding en Navorsing teen Korrupsie (ACCERUS), en spreker by die 13de Internasionale Wynlande Konferensie in Stellenbosch. In sy lesing Maandag (2 April 2012), het hy gesê dat navorsing gedoen by ACCERUS en ander organisasies in Suid-Afrika en in vyf ander lande in Suidelike Afrika, wys uit dat een uit elke tien individue nooit korrupsie sal pleeg nie, een sal enige geleentheid aangryp, terwyl agt by geleentheid in die versoek sal wees om korrup op te tree.

(Volledige berig in Afrikaans volg.)

Speaking at the 13th International Winelands Conference in Stellenbosch on Monday, Prof Gavin Woods, director of the Anti-corruption Centre for Education and Research (ACCERUS) at Stellenbosch University said that research done by ACCERUS and other organisations in South Africa and five other countries in southern Africa, showed that one out of ten individuals will never indulge in a corrupt practice, one out of ten will indulge at any opportunity, while the remaining eight might at different times, be enticed to be corrupt.

According to Woods, one of the drivers of corruption is the global focus on consumerism and the individual’s desire to accumulate material goods. He added that when an organisation and its leaders are perceived as weak, there is an increased chance of corrupt practices in the public sector.

The Winelands Conference is an initiative of Stellenbosch University’s School of Public Leadership (SPL) the SU’s Anti-Corruption Centre for Education and Research (ACCERUS) and the Zijlstra Centre. Issues of governance and corruption are brought to the table at this three day conference held in Stellenbosch.

Dr Cobus de Swardt, managing director of Transparency International said that the South African police service is perceived to be the most corrupt state organ closely followed by political parties and parliament.

However, trust in governments and politicians has across the world fallen to an all-time low, according to Prof Goos Minderman of the Zijlstra Centre for Public Control and Governance, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in Europe and America this is exacerbated by the fact that governments are crippled by debt despite historically low interest rates. Countries that thought it could never happen are now facing the threat of national bankruptcy.

Minderman partially blamed rating agencies for the crisis.

“We are not experiencing a crisis of capitalism per se, but the victory of a certain form of capitalism: rating agencies assess politicians. These agencies already influence the thinking of democracies and government. Approval was expressed all over the world when so-called technocratic governments took over in Greece and Italy. Technocracy seems to be equivalent to the idea that budget deficits and top-down measures should rule over democracy and public needs. The result is collapsing markets, bankrupt governments, a slowing down of growth, a rise in unemployment and poverty and further limits on access to healthcare and education.”

All forms of corruption are driven by the global economy, added De Swardt. According to him there is often evidence that a deal that ends in scandal has been bankrolled by a foreign entity. An example is the arms deal scandal in South Africa which was to a large extent funded by the French.

There has also been an increase in public corruption practices amongst the middle classes in affluent Western countries. This is a far cry from the previous belief that poorer countries are more corrupt.

Prof John Benington, of Warwick University in England, said that the world is experiencing major changes that cut across governments and major academic disciplines. Climate change and financial volatility have added to a climate of fear. And nobody has ready-made answers to the problems. “Managing fear might in future become the job of government. And governments are leading in the dark.  New patterns and systems of governance and leadership are required.

According to Mr Rob de Vos, Consul-general of the Netherlands in New York and an alumnus of the Winelands Conference, the greatest challenge is yet to come as the divide between those who govern and those who are governed become greater. He believes that the market economy has eroded the lower middle classes and has increasingly made upward mobility an unreachable dream.

“The financial sector has not learnt any lessons from what has happened with the global financial crisis in 2008,” he said.

The three day Conference ends on Wednesday 4 April.