South African Architects Against Corruption

It is no secret amongst architects that corruption at South African municipal building control departments has reached an all time high. It is now threatening the very integrity of the building construction industry and impacting strongly on the efficiency of the professions. Besides costing the country's economy dearly it is placing the Nation's citizens at risk. Corruption has many facets and permeates every level of our society; it is always ugly and always destructive but none so dangerous as that which affects the Built Environment.
Nigeria and Uganda are prime examples of what happens when building controls become dysfunctional - buildings collapse and kill people.
As architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, project managers, planners, building designers and technologists it is our duty and responsibility to protect the integrity of the built environment professions, industries and processes. To do this effectively we are required to ensure that the laws which govern our professional activities are respected and applied. In dealing with public officials entrusted with the application of these laws we frequently encounter situations where fraudulent activity, extortion and/or bribes are associated with the process of securing building approvals.
This problem has plagued us for many years and despite several initiatives there has been little that we have been able to do about it. Due to the scale of built environment operations the numbers involved are substantive and building owners, developers and professionals are frequently cornered into collaborating with thieves, extortionists and fraudsters in order to save their projects from unreasonable costly delays or possible cancellation.
The South African combined built environment industries and professions employ more people than any other sector in economy. Millions of workers across the country depend on it. The Trade Unions that represent many of these workers are aware that corruption at municipal and government level is directly responsible for increased unemployment and economic hardship amongst its membership.
A new and promising initiative has been launched to combat corruption at all levels - and it requires your participation. Find out how you can help stop corruption at building control points by visiting the Corruption Watch website, and the next time a plans inspector, a town planning official or a building inspector steps out of line report the incident
Corruption Watch is a South African civil society not-for-profit organisation. It gathers and analyses information from the public, builds alliances and helps people take a stand against corruption.
The organisation was initiated by the office bearers of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu), who had been seeing a significant increase in complaints from members and from the public about corruption in South Africa.

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