On the 9th of June GIFS sponsored a webinar on Corruption and its impact on the Economy. The panel discussion engaged with four leaders in various areas of expertise on the impact and ramifications of corruption on business in South Africa, with a specific focus on the Short-Term Insurance industry.
The session explored how the Financial Services Sector can be proactive in breaking the cycle of corruption, promoting ethical engagements and fostering a significant change in mindset and practices.
The four esteemed panellists discussing the topic were:
- Bheki Mngomezulu, Political Analyst and Full Professor of Political Science at the University of the Western Cape
- Mpume Langa, Divisional Finance Director at Unilever Africa, Chair of Women in Business and former Head of Absa Private Bank KZN
- Wendy Knowler, award-winning Senior Consumer Journalist and board member for the Ombudsman for Banking Services, South Africa
- Praline Ross, CEO and Founder of Aqua Empowerment Solutions, Mindset Coach, Change Strategist and Entrepreneur.
The panel discussion was moderated by Dr Kershen Pillay, CEO: The Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS) who started the discussion by briefly explaining the concept of corruption as the abuse of a trusted position to illegally obtain the material benefit for personal or other use. Corruption is one of the major issues affecting South Africa. With that being said, who is responsible for stopping the process of corruption? Is corruption governance or social issue? The panel had the opportunity to engage further on this endemic issue.
Prof. Bheki Mngomezulu, made an insightful statement indicating that we as the South Africans cannot look to the government to solve the corruption issue. We are all responsible for the current situation and to rectify it, we have to revisit all that used to occur before we normalised corruption and then do things differently. In the business space, Mpume agreed that in the corruption process, there is a corruptor and a corruptee, this, therefore, stems from a social issue.
From a consumer level, Wendy Knowler highlighted that consumers are abused by fraudsters as more and more people are embracing technological transactions and digitisation. Companies are responsible for having sufficient protocols and processes in place to prevent fraudsters and protect their clients from impersonation fraud. Wendy later highlighted that there is a lack of ethics as people have selective morality where certain fraud is related, an example being insurance fraud.
In conclusion, Praline Ross made an important comment that people are tired of corruption and ready for change. We are all responsible for corruption and we have the power to make changes. “Change is a gradual process,” said Praline. She highlighted that to change, we have to disconnect and be deliberate with our thoughts. We, therefore, have a social responsibility to be conscious of our decisions where selective morality is concerned. “Change starts at home, we need to go back to the Ubuntu philosophy that dictates we are because I am” closed Prof. Bheki Mngomezulu in agreement with Praline. Though we can’t fight full corruption, we can start by reviewing our individual decisions. The fight against corruption has to be a social culture where we are less tolerant of small acts of fraudulent activities.
Our MC and President of the IIG, Tshepiso Chocho thanked the speakers for their time and insights into Corruption and its Impact on our Economy and the effects on our insurance industry. She ended the session by thanking GIFS for their sponsorship of this very insightful session.
Article by Tebogo Raphathelo
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