08/09/2017 12:45 SAST | Updated 08/09/2017 13:37 SAST

Cyril Ramaphosa: SA Is At A Crossroads On Corruption

"This is the time where we must take a stand, to end wrongdoing, to punish those responsible."

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Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa Photo by Deaan Vivier/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has amped up his public onslaught against corruption, calling for those held responsible to be brought to book.

"Corruption impedes growth and development. Where corruption is the order of the day, there can't be development and redistribution," he said.

"If we do not hold those responsible, then we risk the erosion of the state, of our institutions, our businesses and our organisations and this can lead to damage."

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Addressing delegates at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) annual summit, the presidential frontrunner said South Africa is today at an inflection point, where it can either confront corruption or allow it to continue unchecked.

"The time has arrived for us as a nation to focus on how corruption manifests itself and where it manifests itself. Unless we tackle [corruption], patronage and state capture, we will not be able to radically transform our economy," he said.

"This is the time where we must take a stand, to end wrongdoing, to punish those responsible and also where resources have been appropriated wrongly, to make sure we recover them."

He said corruption and unethical conduct threaten South Africa's shared future.

"We are in danger of creating a future where young people do not have the skills to participate in the fourth industrial revolution...South Africans deserve the best out of our country."

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The deputy president also spoke of good governance and its role is sustaining a developmental state.

"We remain conscious that business confidence is still at its lowest in 32 years. The investment that derives from business is able to fuel the economic growth of our country. More than half of our population living below the poverty line," Ramaphosa said.

"We proceed from the understanding that public budgets are a democratic instrument by which we can better the lives of the citizens of our country, stimulate growth and provide infrastructure."