We live in a society where corruption has become a culture, a normalised act, a sickness of our being.
Presidents, politicians, businessmen, false prophets and the like have tried to rope our nation into a state of submission, one that will tolerate the decay of democratic principles and at the same time give the finger to our Constitution.
We have heard of the many bribes that were paid, the kickbacks that were received, and the billions that have been laundered to offshore accounts. But corruption does not only affect economic or material issues – those working in the anti-corruption space understand that corruption’s real cost has been on the lives of ordinary people, the communities that it has broken, and the serious threat that it poses towards meeting our constitutional obligations towards human dignity, the achievement of equality, and the advancement of human rights.
The differentiation between “petty” and “grand” corruption has led us to believe that grand corruption, such as State Capture, affects the country more because of its economic implications and the erosion of public trust in our leadership and state institutions.
While this is undoubtedly true, petty corruption poses a similar threat to our nation’s well-being. Although petty corruption involves smaller amounts of money and is usually engaged in to either avoid consequence, make quick money or fast-track a public service, it often occurs in important areas of service delivery that have been established to advance human rights and dignities such as the education system, healthcare infrastructure, social development and justice sectors. This has resulted in a growing sense of injustice and inequality in many communities across South Africa. …more