Johannesburg – The Minerals Council South Africa endorses, and urges, the speedy implementation of the recommendations made in the first of three reports by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture to prevent endemic and corrosive corruption in organs of the State and within the private sector.
The Minerals Council’s members have, like the rest of the country’s citizens and businesses, endured the consequences of years of unfettered fraud and corruption within the State and its entities, most notably Eskom, the monopoly electricity provider, and the rail and port operator, Transnet.
“The evidence regarding events at Transnet, Eskom and SAA present a scarcely believable picture of rampant corruption,” the report states.
Bulk commodity exporters have, for example, experienced an opportunity cost of at least R30 billion because of the inability by Transnet to provide a contracted service to deliver iron ore, coal, chrome and manganese to the ports.
The reasons given by Transnet include crime on its rail network, which speaks to ineffectual policing by the State on a strategic national asset, and the difficulties to procure spares for locomotives bought in a multi-billionrand programme cancerous with corruption.
The first report from the Commission touched on the locomotive procurement project and clearly found irregularities, the consequences of which the mining industry and other exporters and importers are now struggling with daily.
Of particular frustration for the Minerals Council is the lack of accountability and consequence management of years of wilful neglect, corruption and mismanagement for personal gain of the players involved in these acts because of deliberate inaction by the organs of state intended to uphold the rule of law.
“We trust the recommendations made in this report, and the others which will soon follow, will result in speedy and appropriate legal and prosecutorial actions taken against those political leaders, government ministers, CEOs and the leadership of state-owned entities, and officials in government departments who caused such egregious damage to the country, its people and its economy through their corrupt activities,” says Roger Baxter, CEO of the Minerals Council.
“What they did is tantamount to economic sabotage, and they must face the consequences on a much more urgent basis if South Africa is to restore trust and faith in the Government and its structures at this very difficult time for the economy. The recommendations in this report will go a long way towards doing that, but we cannot afford to wait much longer. Urgent implementation is key,” he says.