Listeriosis- A Typical Real Cost of Corruption!

Why Be Concerned About Corruption?

Many think corruption ends with the person accepting a bribe and that it ends there. They reason that they are not criminals because no one is killed, when in fact, the opposite is true.

There are many examples we can look in order to prove otherwise,  but for now, let’s take this recent outbreak of Listeria in South Africa, where more than 190 people lost their lives. It is alleged that the real source of this bacteria is from chicken Imported from Brazil. These are used by the cold meat manufacturers to make polonies and other stuff as we know it. The question then is, were these imports not checked for such infections at arrival in South Africa? How could they have gone through the system undetected? This cannot be by mistake, since foodstuff security is something health officials should take serious since it has a vital impact on the lives of the citizens. 190 lives were lost as a result of this bacteria, something that could have been prevented, Many more are receiving treatment for it.

With Is The Real Cost of Corruption?

Somebody or a group of people, somewhere up in the value chain, decided to turn a blind eye or not even bother to check these chicken imports and test them as required by law. Somebody up there must have received some ‘incentive’ to let them through the system. At what cost? Lives are lost. The company Enterprise may be shut down, leaving thousands of workers without jobs. Many analysts say that the company may not survive the crisis. Newspapers are reporting on the shut down

Logistics companies contracted to Enterprise will lose out on revenue. Surrounding businesses that depended on the existence of Enterprise will be affected. A bakery owner was crying tears the other day. Trays and trays of his bread that he uses to supply those Mammas selling Kotas are not sold. Schools are barring kids from buying from these mammas. These women, many of whom are sole breadwinners at home, most being single mothers, depend on selling the Kotas to make a living. Supermarkets have had to refund consumers for recalled items. VAT charges has to be reversed. Small business owners who were selling cold meat hampers are sitting with no business, the list goes on.

It all starts with corruption. Somebody gets few thousands in his pockets to let things go through, affecting millions down the value chain. This unfortunately, is the real cost of corruption.