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13 October 2020 | Story Prof John Mubangizi | Photo Sonia du Toit
Prof John C Mubangizi is Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State.

South Africans are sick and tired of corruption. They are angry, frustrated and despondent. And they have every reason to be. South Africa has many problems: crime, unemployment, poverty, gender-based violence, inequality, low economic growth and now – in common with many other countries – COVID-19. The list goes on and on. What makes corruption the biggest threat among all these is that it cuts across all of them and impacts on their gravity in different ways. 

The South African Constitution envisages a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. The way things are going, that society is never likely to happen. That is because corruption has been, and continues to be, the greatest threat to any possibility of realising that constitutional dream. In South Africa, like everywhere else where corruption is rampant, it occurs both in the public and private sectors, where it affects democracy and human rights by deteriorating institutions and diminishing public trust in government. It impairs the ability of government to fulfil its obligations and ensure accountability in the delivery of economic and social services like healthcare, education, clean water, housing, and social security. This is because corruption diverts funds into private pockets – which impedes delivery of services – thereby perpetuating poverty, inequality, injustice and unfairness. The problem is aggravated when government is the main culprit. “Government” here, of course, refers to the dictionary meaning of the term, namely, “the group of people with the authority to govern a country or state”.

Corruption existed in ancient Egypt, China and Greece

There are those who argue that corruption is as old as mankind and, therefore, it is here to stay. Indeed, corruption is known to have existed in ancient Egypt, ancient China and ancient Greece. In Robert Bolt’s 16th Century play A Man for All Seasons, Richard Rich’s opening remark is “But every man has his price.” In the 1836 play The Government Inspector, Nikolai Gogol cleverly satirised the human greed, stupidity and extensive political corruption in Imperial Russia at the time. And in a recent article in The Conversation (28 August 2020), Steven Friedman wonders why South Africans express shock at corruption when “it is perhaps the country’s oldest tradition.” He locates the advent of corruption in South Africa at the arrival of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, through to the ensuing colonialism and apartheid. He argues that in reality, “corruption has been a constant feature of South African political life for much of the past 350 years. It is deeply embedded and it will take a concerted effort, over years, not days, to defeat it”. 

Agreed, but does it have to be that way? At the time of Jan van Riebeeck and during the 350 years of colonialism and apartheid, we did not have the legal framework that we have now. Here is a brief overview of that framework.

Read full article here

Opinion article by Professor John C Mubangizi, Dean: Faculty of Law, University of the Free State


News Archive

UFS staff get salary adjustment of 13,35%
2008-11-13

 

At the signing of the salary agreement were, from the left: Prof. Johan Grobbelaar, Chairperson of UVPERSU, Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS, and Ms Senovia Welman, Chairperson of NEHAWU.
Photo: Anita Lombard

UFS staff get salary adjustment of 13,35%

The University of the Free State’s (UFS) management and trade unions have agreed on an improvement in the service benefits of staff of 16,55% for 2009. This includes a general salary adjustment of 13,35% (according to the estimated government subsidy that will be received in 2009).

“The negotiating parties agreed that adjustments could vary from a minimum of 13,00%, or more, depending on the government subsidy and the model forecasts. If the minimum of 13,00% is not affordable, the parties will re-negotiate,” said Prof. Teuns Verschoor, Acting Rector of the UFS.

“The negotiations were conducted in a positive spirit and the parties are in agreement that it is an exceptionally good adjustment – being higher than for example the increase in medical premiums,” said Prof. Verschoor.

The agreement was signed yesterday by representatives of the UFS management and the trade unions, UVPERSU and NEHAWU.

An additional once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 390 will also be paid to staff later this year.

The bonus will be paid to all staff members who were in the employ of the UFS on UFS conditions of service on 10 November 2008 and who assumed duties before 1 October 2008. This includes all former Vista staff, regardless of whether they have already been aligned with UFS conditions of service.


The bonus is payable in recognition of the role played by staff during the year to promote the UFS as a university of excellence and as confirmation of the role and effectiveness of the remuneration model.

“It is important to note that this bonus can be paid due to the favourable financial outcome of 2008,” said Prof. Verschoor.

It is the intention to pass the maximum benefit possible on to staff without exceeding the limits of financial sustainability of the institution. For this reason, the negotiating parties reaffirmed their commitment to the Multiple-year Income-related Remuneration Improvement Model used as a framework for negotiations. The model and its applications are unique and has as a point of departure that the UFS must be and remain financially sustainable.

Additional funding (0,70%) was also negotiated. This will be allocated on 1 January 2009 to accelerate the phasing-in of medical benefits and, if possible, to finalise the phasing-in process. Agreement was reached that 2,50% will be allocated for growth in capacity building to ensure that provision is made for the growth of the UFS over the last few years, as well as the incorporation of Vista staff.

The agreement also applies to all staff members of the two above-mentioned campuses whose conditions of employment have already been aligned with those of the Main Campus.

The implementation date for the salary adjustment is 1 January 2009. The adjustment will be calculated on the total remuneration package.

In 2008, a total improvement of service benefits of 9,32% and a salary adjustment of 7,52% were paid to employees. Staff received a once-off non-pensionable bonus of R3 000 at the end of 2007.

Media Release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2584
Cell: 083 645 2454
E-mail: loaderl.stg@ufs.ac.za  
12 November 2007
 

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