It is never too late to fight corruption, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told the National Assembly.
"It can never be too late, nor inopportune to do the right thing. So we have to tackle corruption on a continuous basis," he told the National Assembly during question time.
"The day we say it is too late, [that] it is too big a problem and we throw in the towel, we would have lost the battle.
"It doesn't matter how many good citizens remain, but they have to remain in the forward trenches against corruption."
Motlanthe thanked members of the opposition for pointing out specific cases of corruption.
To deal with corruption, South Africa had the laws and institutions in place and targets had been set.
Government's attention was on ensuring the effectiveness of these measures, and to build public confidence.
"For example, our endeavour to root out corruption has necessitated that we pay greater attention to eliminating weaknesses in our procurement system, which is often the source of most of the corruption we encounter.
"In this regard national treasury is busy with the refinement and optimisation of our procurement system," he said.
Additionally, treasury had recently published for public comment Municipal Financial Misconduct Regulations to introduce measures intended to combat corruption in the public and private sectors through advocacy, strengthening the legal and policy prescripts and frameworks, and most importantly, the implementation thereof.
"Furthermore, it is well known that apart from the Special Investigating Unit, government has established other agencies whose mandates, among other things, include combating serious commercial crimes and corruption."
These included the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), the Asset Forfeiture Unit, the Multi-Agency Working Group, and the Public Service Anti-Corruption Unit.
Several departments had established anti-corruption hotlines, to which suspected incidents of corruption had been reported by members of the public.
However, rooting out corruption demanded far more than just institutions and laws.
Corruption happened when people who worked inside and outside government manipulated the system for their own benefit.
This happened despite the robustness of anti-corruption institutions.
"In short… I am arguing that corruption undermines democracy and therefore, all of us, especially ourselves who are entrusted by the public to uphold the Constitution, must work in concert to strengthen institutions and programmes designed to free our society from the scourge of corruption.
"We must raise the bar in terms of accountability and monitoring of how public funds are used.
"We must work together to ensure that each programme of the democratic state yields quality results thus accelerating transformation, service delivery, and the building of a non-racial, non-sexist, prosperous, and democratic South Africa," Motlanthe said. – Sapa