The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PCCA) is the primary law governing Anti-Bribery and Corruption prevention and enforcement in South Africa. It applies to organisations based in the country and those based outside but doing business in the country. We’ve drafted a summary or short explanation to show you why it is important, who it affects, what the timeline is, links to related information and what action should be taken.
Why do we need Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws
Corruption means that a few get rich and the vast majority get poorer. Corruption excludes people from economic opportunity and reduces economic growth. It also means that organisations can lose out on lucrative business deals in the public sector, for example, as a result of one organisation attaining an unfair advantage over those organisations through bribery or other forms of corruption. Basically, corruption is bad on all levels, and we try as much as possible to help put a stop to it.
Corruption disempowers people, communities and organisations.
In all organisations, the governing bodies must govern in a way that stops corruption, manages the risks, including complying with all applicable laws, rules, codes and standards. This has been reinforced in light of numerous recent local and international incidents. South Africa’s participation as a signatory to the OECD’s Code on Anti-Bribery & Corruption and the implementation of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PCCA) and various other pieces of legislation require positive steps to be taken to prevent and act against bribery & corruption. Organisations can, therefore, not get away from the requirement to put an anti-bribery and corruption compliance programme in place.
What is corruption?
The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act defines corruption as being:
“Any person who directly or indirectly, accepts or gives or agrees or offers to accept or give, any form of gratification from any other person, whether for the benefit of themselves or for the benefit of another person in order to act personally or by influencing another person to act, in a manner that amounts to the illegal,
- misuse or selling of information or material acquired in the course of the exercise,
- carrying out or performance, of any powers duties or functions that amounts to the abuse of a position of authority a breach of trust; or the violation of a legal duty or a set of rules;
that is designed to achieve an unjustified result, or any other unauthorized or improper inducement to do or not to do anything.”
Who or what does the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act impact?
All natural and juristic persons in South Africa as well as South Africans operating outside of the country. The following specific activities regarding identified functions and roles where corrupt activities could impact are also highlighted in the PCCA:
- public officers,
- foreign public officials,
- members of legislative authorities,
- judicial officers;
- parties to an employment relationship
- witnesses and evidential material in certain proceedings
- procuring and withdrawal of tenders
- sporting events
- gambling games or games of chance
- Offences related to possible conflict of interest
The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004 commenced operation in South Africa in April 2004. However, this Act served to reflect and co-ordinate relevant previous legislation and international conventions and forms the central point of the overall ABC legal framework in South Africa.
Actions you can take
- Record your policy on this critical issue in writing by asking us to draft an effective Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy for you.
- Improve your existing Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy by asking us to review it for you.
- Find out the ten ingredients for effective compliance by downloading a free copy of our Anti-Bribery and Corruption Compliance Guide below.
- Download a copy of the PCCA and read it.
- Raise your awareness by attending an Anti-Bribery and Corruption Webinar.
- Ask us to help you set up an Anti-Bribery and Corruption Compliance Programme.
- Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to- date with the latest developments.