Western Cape among top four provinces with highest alleged corruption

Published Sep 15, 2022


Cape Town - The Western Cape is among the top four provinces with the highest number of reports of alleged corruption.

This is according to the sixth edition of the Corruption Watch Analysis of Corruption Trends (ACT) report released on Wednesday which unpacks the ways in which corruption undermines and erodes fundamental human rights.

The report based on cases brought to the organisation by brave whistle-blowers, who risk their lives and livelihoods to reveal the dodgy dealings of politicians, administrators, and businesspersons.

Between January and June, the organisation received 1 037 whistle-blower reports.

The most prevalent types of corruption are fraud, amounting to 35% of the total reports, abuse of authority including victimisation of whistle-blowers and maladministration, both at 17%, bribery and extortion (including sextortion) at 16%, and procurement irregularities at 15%.

The four provinces with the highest number of reports, accounting for two-thirds of all reports received during the period under review, are Gauteng with 43%, Western Cape, 9%, and KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo at 8% a piece.

“We learn that the loss of billions of rands, the shortage of skills, and the lack of oversight means that for many communities, the provision of basic services is an ideal yet to be realised. Meanwhile, because of inadequate protections for whistle-blowers as well as lack of accountability, addressing serious corruption issues is challenging and corruption networks thrive, threatening democracy,” the report stated.

About 62% of complaints classified as corruption are in the public sector, while 25% are in the private sector.

In the private sector, legal and financial firms account for 8% of corruption cases, and health providers and mining companies each account for 4% of incidents received. A further 28% of graft reports relate to an assortment of companies generally implicated in scrap metals illegal activity as well as fraudulent temporary employer/employee relief scheme claims.

Corruption remains endemic in South Africa, the organisation said.

“The appalling state of our towns, cities and millions of people living in abject poverty is owed to an incompetent leadership that has underperformed in addressing rampant corruption that is a central theme in human rights abuses,” said senior researcher at Corruption Watch and author of the report, Melusi Ncala.

“It is easy to become despondent as we report, year after year, how the brave people of this country continue to blow the whistle and stand up against the corrupt who are eroding our future, while the powerful remain free and unaccountable. However, we can’t afford that kind of sentiment, especially when it is precisely their bravery and courage that should be spurring us on to greater, more urgent, and more radical action.

“We can still dream of building a corrupt-free society, but the time to rally is now. Thus, it is incumbent upon each person to prioritise the needs of a democratic society and not the politics of the stomach,” Ncala said.

Cape Times