Where South Africa’s corruption takes place

Corruption Watch’s annual report has revealed which province in South Africa is the most corrupt, and which sectors are seeing the most unscrupulous behaviour in the country.

The report found that as many as 38% of 2,200 incidents reported to Corruption Watch in 2013 originated in Gauteng.

This is followed by the Free State with 14%, and Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape with 13% each.

Corruption Watch is a non-profit organisation, launched in January 2012 as a platform for citizens to anonymously report corrupt activities. According to the organisation, most corrupt activities take the form of bribery, nepotism and abuse of public funds.

Only 58% of all reported corruption had confirmed corrupt activities taking place.

Of all reports in 2013, a large portion (38%) related to schools, followed by traffic and licensing (10%), healthcare (3%) and water (2%).

The watchdog reported that most reports – 43% – involved the abuse of government resources by a public official.

Provincial corruption
Provincial corruption

“Slippery slope” of corruption

Corruption Watch said that South Africa was on a “slipperly slope” of corruption, pointing to the 2013 edition of Tansparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

In the CPI, it was reported that perceived levels of government corruption in South Africa have increased every year since 2010.

South Africa dropped three places from 69th to 72nd out of 177 countries in the 2013 index.

The Index gave South Africa a score of 42 out of 100, down from 43 in 2012 (where zero is highly corrupt).

The country has slipped from a ranking of 38th in 2001, and 43rd in 2007.

  • 2009 – 55th
  • 2010 – 54th
  • 2011 – 64th
  • 2012 – 69th
  • 2013 – 72nd

“We still have a mountain to climb and there is every indication that 2014 is going to be an even more eventful year,” said David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch

Lewis expects 2014 to be eventful because of the national election set to take place, noting that opposition parties will aim to persuade the electorate that the ruling party and government that it has controlled since 1994 is riddled with corruption.

The ANC in turn, will want to persuade the public that it is actively combatting corruption.

“Our interest is not in who wins the electoral battle or who any of our corruption fighters choose to vote for. However, we have a very large interest in how elections will be conducted and how our elected representatives — from whichever party they come — conduct themselves.”

“We do not want the election outcome to be influenced by the power of big money. We want our elected representatives to demonstrate that they are accountable to the electorate,” he said.

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Where South Africa’s corruption takes place