Top 3 metros account for 71% of corruption reports in SA

Published Apr 3, 2024


THE cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town have, according to a report, collectively accounted for 71% of graft incidents out of the five municipalities with the highest number of corruption reports.

The 12th annual Corruption Watch (CW) report titled “Changing the landscape” released yesterday painted a worrying trajectory for the country as it celebrates 30 years of democracy, particularly issues that threaten the fulfilment of the state’s electoral and constitutional mandate.

According to Corruption Watch, in 2023 alone the organisation received 2 110 reports, similar to the previous year, largely focused on wrongdoing and malfeasance in the mining sector, at 38%.

The second highest number of complaints, accounting for 23% of complaints received, were in the policing sector, followed by 16% for business, basic education at 12%, and state-owned entities at 11%.

The complaints, according to the organisation, spoke of the government’s failure to provide basic services and rights such as efficient policing, safety and security, employment, and education.

The predominant types of corruption featuring in 2023 reportedly concerned maladministration which accounted for 34% of reports, followed by fraud at 21%, 16% for employment irregularities , bribery or extortion at 15%, and procurement irregularities sparking 13% of complaints.

The bulk of the corruption incidents reported were said to have come from the cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town, which collectively accounted for 71% of reports.

The Dannhauser local municipality in the Amajuba district of KwaZulu-Natal as well as the Free State local municipality of Matjhabeng were also listed among the top five municipalities hard hit by corruption.

The report listed the provincial hotspots which necessitated monitoring for corruption, showing Gauteng at the top of the list with as many as 37% of complaints, followed at 19% by KwaZulu-natal, 10 in Free State, and 9% in the Western Cape.

Karam Singh, CW executive director, said the report reflected the need to preserve the country’s democracy, cautioning: “We cannot afford to lose any more ground in the fight against corruption and the realisation of human rights.

“It is within our power to change the current landscape if we all work together, starting with a strong turnout at the polls in May.”