Have we reached a corruption tipping point?

SA is getting increasingly gatvol.

Enough is enough, was the underlying response from South Africans when it came to corruption, according to this week’s Corruption Watch’s 2016 report.

The public has grown increasingly intolerant of the abuse of power by those in leadership positions and will hold them to account.

The report, released on Monday, reviewed the past five years, in which the public had reported on its experiences of corruption.

In 2016, a total of 4 391 reports of corruption were received by the organisation – a substantial increase on the previous years since the launch of the organisation in 2012.

Since its inception, almost 15 000 whistle-blowers had chosen to take action.

But as David Lewis, the organisation’s executive director, warned, “the fight was far from over”.

“The future of our country rests on our ability to maintain and intensify the pressure exerted in 2016,” Lewis said. “This trend of increased and vocal activism mirrors a heightened climate of public engagement that was seen in 2016,” Lewis added.

“It points to greater levels of awareness and urgency among communities to rise up against corruption. The most prevalent of corruption reported in 2016, centred on the abuse of power, bribery and procurement corruption.”

What is alarming is that corruption hot spots include schools, road traffic incidents and licensing and immigration centres.

Corruption at schools is a major concern.

We welcome Corruption Watch’s focus moving forward of “continuing to engage the public around issues such as the national anti-corruption strategy and the school governing body elections in 2018”.

South Africans have spoken. May the scourge of corruption be diminished as more and more people are brave enough to report graft.

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