Corruption Watch releases biannual corruption trends report

How much would a prospective driver be asked to pay to get a driver’s licence? It depends on the municipality, Corruption Watch reports. The driver could pay between R2 500 and R3 500 to get their license — over and above the driving instructor’s fee.

Corruption Watch’s newly released Analysis of Corruption Trends report looks at the trends in the 2 469 corruption cases that is has received since January 2018.

The non-profit organisation was launched in January 2012 to provide a platform for reporting and investigating corruption.

To date, it has received over 23 000 reports of corruption.

This is a summary breakdown of the reports received:

  • In 2017, the organisation received 2 744 reports.
  • The group’s research found that 39.8% of corruption incidents were reported in the province of Gauteng, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 9.6%, and the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape both at 6.5%. 
  • Reports of corruption in schools went up from 9.9 % in 2017 to 10.8% in 2018.

Education

  • The non-profit organisation says it has received reports of principals embezzling funds, teachers soliciting learners for sexual favours to achieve higher marks and officials flouting employment procedures to recruit individuals with little to no qualifications.
  • The report also noted that the appointments were nepotistic when the position was sold or granted because of a sexual relationship.

Local government

  • According to the report, corruption in municipal offices — or the number of people reporting municipal corruption — has grown by 2.6%.
  • With whistleblowers highlighting procurement irregularities and the pervasiveness of bribery at the licensing department, this figure accounts for 9.2% of the reports that Corruption Watch has received over the last six months.

Security

  • Police corruption accounts for 6.3% of the number of cases that the organisation received.
  • Corruption Watch noted a “disturbing connection” with the abuse of power, bribery and complaints regarding the dereliction of duty.

State-owned enterprises

  • The report noted that 3.1% of reported incidents involved state-owned enterprises, with 44% of the corruption reported involving irregularities in procurement.

Compromised care

  • Although only 2.7% of the reported corruption cases are related to the health sector, Corruption Watch reported that the data told “harrowing accounts of ordinary South Africans whose health was compromised by corruption”.

Although the number of reported incidents of corruption may be disheartening, the report noted that it was encouraging that people “cared enough” to report irregularities.

“We need to see corruption for what it truly is — a malignancy, a devious act of immorality that harms all over a long period, and a problem that we most certainly can overcome just as long as we remain vigilant and firm in our efforts to encourage and protect those willing to blow the whistle on corruption,” the report noted.

Read the full report below:

  Corruption Watch

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie works in the Mail & Guardian's online department. She majored in English Literature at a small liberal arts college in the USA.  Read more from Gemma Ritchie

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