The Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) has vowed to eradicate fraud and corruption.
Keith Sendwe, CEO of Cipro says that, while fraud and corruption was unfortunately one of the hard realities confronting business owners the world over on a daily basis, it could no longer go unchecked in South Africa.
In what he refers to as a "clarion call to South African businesses" Sendwe says that now is the time to take the fight against fraud and corruption to a whole new level.
"It is imperative that everyone realises that the onus to fight corruption rests on the shoulders of each and every individual, and in each and every company. We live in a country where we all have to take hands to eradicate poverty and establish a healthy, competitive economic environment. Those that are involved in fraud and corruption, literally steal a better life away from their fellow human beings.
"We have started within our own organisation by taking tangible steps to ensure a corruption-free environment and are at present, among other things, working actively to validate the integrity of our data. This includes verifying the legitimacy of all registered entities within Cipro.
"Leading by example it is our intention to take our message of sound corporate governance to each and every registered entity within South Africa," Sendwe says.
Sendwe calls on all South African business owners to throw their weight against corruption. "If every business owner takes the responsibility upon themselves to ensure that they appoint accounting officers and auditors that are both legitimate and trustworthy, we will make huge strides in establishing a corruption-free environment."
He adds that corruption is not just the obvious act of meddling with figures, but it starts with every employee that makes an ill-considered decision to his or her own benefit and to the detriment of the company or organisation that they represent.
"Think of the consequences of your actions. Even if you perform the most insignificant act of corruption, the ripple effect can mean that you create considerable harm to businesses and many thousands of honest, hard-working South Africans. You can make a difference and help create a better life for all South Africans."