The fight against corruption will require a concerted effort to do away with paper-driven, outdated methods and operations. “If we fail to do this we must forget about winning this battle,” said Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola.
He was addressing an African Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies meeting in Pretoria yesterday.
Lamola said there was a need to adapt to technological advances and explore automation, big data analysis, and collaboration.
Corruption was the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development around the world, he said. It was not only a phenomenon in Africa but it ravaged all continents, he said.
“It is estimated that the cost of corruption equals more than 5% of the global GDP, with over $1trillion paid in bribes each year.
“The UN estimated that corruption, bribery, theft and tax evasion cost $1.26 trillion for developing countries per year,” he said.
In Africa, the impact of corruption on development was severe and costing an estimated $148bn a year, and Africa ranked the lowest among global regions in the corruption perception index.
Head of the Special Investigating Unit advocate Andy Mothibe said they had already outlined a new strategy.
“We will have a fully functional data analytics section headed by a person knowledgeable in modelling corruption and related actions. It will take the information that we already have and we’ll continue to collect it.”
Mothibe said state-of-the-art tools to analyse computers and information flow were needed to help model the corruption risk exposure across governance. They were also improving cyberspace security, which was key.
In terms of formalising a collaborative framework, Mothibe said: “The conference is about international collaboration, particularly focusing on African countries under the banner of the UN convention against corruption.
“As part of that collaboration we share information to trace suspects who flee and trace assets as well.”