CORRUPTION AND GOOD GOVERNANCE: CHALLENGES FACING GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS

Corruption and good governance sit at the opposite end of the spectrum, while good governance represents the ideal environment for governments and corporations seek to eradicate. Corruption involves the abuse of power for private gain. This refers to gain of any kind-financial, in status-and it could gain by individual. Apart from bribery, it can include patronage, nepotism, embezzlement, influence peddling, use of one’s position for self-enrichment, bestowing of favours from on relatives and friends, and absenteeism.

Most authorities on the issue of corruption and good governance are adamant that the single most important factor is the human elements. We need to address human values and behaviour.

The management of an institution has to consider the health and wellness of the organization on various levels to ensure that it does not only make business in the short term, but to survive and perform in the long term. Management has to put checks in place to ensure that the organization acts responsibly in all its endeavours. This is where corporate governance come in to play.

Bad governance leaves parents and communities facing education provision that is unaccountable and unresponsive to their needs, it contributes to an education system that is ineffective in raising learning achievements. It leaves communities and regions with children sitting in the classrooms lacking basic teaching materials, and demotivated lecturers. Bad governance means that financial resources allocated to schools are not utilized effectively.

Indicators for bad education governance include large financial gaps between the rich and the poor and a lack of attention to strategies for reaching the disadvantaged.  Failure to tackle corruption, another hallmark of bad governance, has consequences for poor households.

The whistle blower is met with unfriendliness and isolation, and in extreme cases is immediately fired or, if this is not possible, processes will be set in motion to justify the termination of employment.  An example of such processes is downgrading of job performance, suspension, transfer, personal harassment or character assassination.

It is accepted that the poor are the ultimate victims of corruption. It is they who suffer the most from poor quality services that often result from corruption. Our country has battled with corruption since the days of apartheid. South Africa has enacted various pieces of legislation in the fight against corruption. The Constitution of the republic of South Africa act, 1996 chapter 10 of the Constitution sets out the basic values and principles that govern public administration in every sphere of government, organs of state and public enterprise.

Professionals have a huge responsibility to raise their voices for good governance. Educators can imbed hatred against corruption among the learners at an early age. Intermediate and secondary education can inform young minds about the importance of good governance as a precondition of development. Education on critical issues like women empowerment, human rights, consumer rights, right to information, freedom of speech can help empower a new generation who will forward initiative positive reforms towards good governance.

Civil society is in the best position to articulate the grievances of the citizens and highlight priorities of action on corruption to governments. Civil society can create public awareness against corruption and mobilize citizens to fight against corruption in ways that governments cannot.

The writer would like to conclude that good governance also means combating corruption and TVET Colleges cannot be considered having good governance, if they are corrupt. To preserve the integrity of democracy, Colleges must strive to rid themselves off corruption and bribery. The best way to combat corruption is for Colleges to be open and transparent.