NEVA MAKGETLA: Fighting corruption needs much more than new leaders
In the short run, while the SOEs’ red ink threatens the economy, it would make sense to put them under the Treasury
When a friend goes through serial divorces, at some point you have to say the problem isn’t their partners — there’s something wrong with the friend’s approach to marriage. The same applies to corruption in government. Finding better leaders seems like any easy fix, but the systems that let corruption flourish should also be changed. Practices and rules should be reformed that let leaders and executives of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) keep their decisions and incomes secret, enable enforcement agencies to go after minnows and avoid the sharks, and entrust SOE governance to a department that is divorced from fiscal and policy imperatives. Every state agency should have an open tender system, like that piloted in Gauteng. It requires that for large tenders the government publishes bids and the reasons for its decision. SOEs should have to report all major procurement processes to Parliament quarterly.Government and SOE leaders, and their families, should undergo regular lifestyle au...