In June 2022 the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture presided over by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo delivered its final report to the President of South Africa.
The work of the Commission provides strong evidence of state capture, and detailed insight into how state capture was organised and facilitated. The Commission has provided the country with a set of recommendations which should be actively debated by civil society, government, business, and South Africans generally. An holistic analysis of the Commission’s report can serve to inform future actions that different role-players, key amongst them civil society formations, can undertake to ensure that appropriate action is taken to reduce the space for state capture, fraud and corruption, especially in the public sector. Importantly, a critical analysis of thematic areas of the report can help to highlight whether the recommendations go far enough and are implementable, whether they require revision or refinement, or whether additional action is required.
In light of this, the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) and the Council for the Advancement of the Constitution (CASAC) organised a conference to examine the Commission’s report in depth. The hybrid conference was held on the 14th and 15th of September 2022 at the University of Johannesburg and online.
The conference provided a platform for participants to analyse and debate key areas of potential interventions to enhance state and private sector accountability, with a focus on the following themes:
- Review of South Africa’s anti-corruption capacity and architecture;
- Strengthening institutions of governance and oversight, including Parliament;
- Appointments and dismissals in key institutions, and the public sector generally;
- Public procurement reform;
- Whistle-blower protection and support;
- The role of the private sector as enablers of state capture; and
- The role of civil society in closing the space for state capture.
This report is a summary of discussion, recommendations, and ‘next steps’ that emerged at the conference.