NewsSouthern AfricaSouth African activists pile pressure on govt to end corruption


Posted on Thursday, 01 October 2015 11:15

South African activists pile pressure on govt to end corruption

By Crystal Oderson in Cape Town

Photo©ReutersSouth African activists are piling the pressure on their government to end corruption and are promising to take the streets again after holding two separate marches against graft in Pretoria and Cape Town this week.


On Wednesday thousands of South Africans from all of walks of life took to the streets of the two major cities to deliver a message to government that they are sick and tired of corruption.

We need to start being pro-courage

Organisers have described the marches as a success with speakers urging marchers to take a stand against corrupt activities.

Twenty-nine civil organisations and eight unions, including the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Section 27, the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance and Equal Education took part in the mass demonstrations.

Former Congress of South African Trade Unions secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi told protestors in Pretoria that corruption should be on the agenda during the next elections campaign.

"Corruption is political, when you fight against corruption it has to be political no doubt about it and this narrative will continue until the 2016 elections," he said.

Vavi said they would be back on the streets in large numbers later this month.

"Marching against corruption which is a threat to our country and our children's future is a right thing to do," he said.

Political analyst Ralph Mathega said the protests were a significant symbolic gesture to show the levels of dissatisfaction against the government.

"For social moments and unions to carve out the space to express the dissatisfaction is a big gesture, but its symbolic gesture" he said.

Mathega said communities couldn't only rely on political parties to deal with the issue of corruption.

"We cannot only rely only on political parties or government institutions to express the anger against corruption but this must inspire the fight against corruption at all levels and it must go back to government and political parties," he said.

Anglican Church leader Archbishop Thabo Makgoba told marchers in Cape Town that South Africans needed to start acting on corruption instead of just protesting.

"We need to stop marching against corruption. Yes, you heard me right. We need stop debating and discussing anti-corruption," he said. "We need to start being pro-courage."

The list of demands from the coalition included calls for a commitment by both government and big business to prioritise combating corruption, which is impacting negatively on people's lives.

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