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Anti-Corruption Advisory Council, a multi-sectoral body that will oversee the initial implementation of the strategy and the establishment of an independent statutory anti-corruption body that reports to Parliament”. In a display of intolerance towards corruption the President authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe and investigate all allegations of possible fraud and corruption in the procurement of COVID-related goods and services. The SIU reported that it has finalized investigations into 164 contracts with a total value of R3.5-billion. The President has also significantly finalised the Political Party Funding Act that will come into operation on 1 April 2021. This act will regulate public and private funding of political parties in an attempt to advance transparency and accountability. Corruption is not the only crime that government is focused on. Other focal points include cable theft, infrastructure vandalism, land invasions, gender-based violence, truck hijacking and others. The President said the government has taken steps to stop these crimes by making the necessary changes to the legislation and forming task teams in the provinces to deal with these crimes. An example of is being implemented this financial year that will ensure standardised governance, financial management and an operational performance framework. In addition to this the mandates of all SOEs are being re-evaluated to ensure that they are responsive to the country’s needs. The President applauded the agricultural sector that has performed exceptionally well despite the pandemic. He paid tribute to the citrus industry that produced a record in citrus exports this year. Conditions indicate that this sector will continue to grow. The government has accelerated land distribution through a variety of instruments such as land restitution and the expropriation of land to boost agricultural output. The plan to eradicate corruption Despite the fact that the Zondo Commission of enquiry has not as yet completed its work, it is crucial for government to act on the evidence already made available. The President acknowledged this by proclaiming, “We have started implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which lays the basis for a comprehensive and integrated society-wide response to corruption. We will shortly be appointing the members of the National

this is the introduction of key pieces of legislation to make the criminal justice system more effective in combatting gender-base violence. In concluding his SONA the President acknowledged that many businesses and families are still struggling and continue to suffer as a result of the pandemic and that government was sensitive to the need for relief interventions. To mitigate the hardship experienced by those without an income, the government extended the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months. In addition to this the government also decided to extend the COVID-19 TERS benefit until 15 March for those sectors that have been unable to operate. In his closing remarks the President motivated the nation by saying, “Just as a harsh fire gives new life to our country’s fynbos, this crisis is an opportunity to build a different, better South Africa. Rebuilding our country requires a common effort. Let us work together as government, as business, as labour and as all of society to clear away the rubble and lay a new foundation.” The President concluded by quoting Maya Angelou’s inspirational poem “Still I Rise”. PICTURES COURTESY GCIS

In concluding his SONA the President acknowledged that many businesses and families are still struggling and continue to suffer as a result of the pandemic and that government was sensitive to the need for relief intervention The President spoke of addressing corruption

Municipal Focus

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Profile for kwedamedia

Municipal Focus Magazine - Volume 51  

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