News | South Africa
Gauteng is the most corrupt province – but most reports of corruption were in the police sector, which was a persistent problem, the Analysis of Corruption report found.
The 2021 report by Corruption Watch said nearly 2 000 whistleblowers have reported graft in the private and public sectors.
Police corruption continued to dominate, accounting for 12% of corruption reports – a problem which Corruption Watch says seems to be persistent since 2019.
This intensified in the lockdown period when regulations were in force, said Melusi Ncala, researcher at Corruption Watch.
There have been similar trends over the years of maladministration, procurement corruption and abuse of power, which was an indication that efforts in both the private and public sector were “woefully inadequate”.
“When reading the individual accounts of corruption in this report, it is evident the more things change, the more they stay the same. Communities are vulnerable because police officers care more about securing dodgy dealswith criminal networks. Pupils, as well as patients in health facilities, are at the mercy of self-serving and abusive officials,” he said.
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Gauteng was the most corrupt province, accounting for nearly half of the complaints (42%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 10% and 9% for the Western Cape.
Gauteng led with reports relating to government’s response to Covid at 34%, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at a lower 18% and Western Cape at 14%. Gauteng and the Western Cape were hotspots for irregular allocation of RDP houses, such as fraud in regards to the waiting list.
Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and Limpopo reported abuse of power In schools, particularly by principals and chairs of governing bodies, theft of school funds and irregularities in employment processes, such as sexual favours for temporary teachers to secure jobs.
“This is the story of corruption in SA according to almost 2 000 brave whistle-blowers. So, when will the tide turn?” Ncala asked.
Gauteng is alleged to have spent R42 million on irregular personal protective equipment procurement tenders – one of which was exposed by acting chief of finance in Gauteng health Babita Deokaran who was gunned down soon after.
Those who reported corruption remained vulnerable, said Ncala.
“As key role-players, whistle-blowers deserve support from the highest echelons of power.”