12 October 2017

South Africa: It's Time for a New Normal in Business Audits to Tackle Corruption


It's a common fact that there are two sides to the corruption coin. The Payer - very often government with its huge chequebook - and the Payee, generally businesses in the private sector that supply goods and services to government. Corruption is not a one-sided affair. This dance needs two players and the more skilful the dancers, the more they are able to cream from the Treasury trough.

Let's be frank about this issue. First, corruption is killing South Africa and we have become numb to the scourge. Business leaders almost take for granted the need to "pay the required fee", in order to open the door and get a favourable look into the government tender or business transaction, be it at the national, provincial or local level.

Many business leaders justify this form of corruption as a "cost of transformation", while others label it a "finder's fee", a "commission" or the "consultant's charges". This is especially true in those high-value, capital expenditure transactions where there is the ability to hide or justify the kickbacks by slipping them into the web of project expenses.

And the retorts to the morality of the transaction when questioned in the boardrooms are "if...

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