10 things you need to know about Corruption Watch's latest report

2019-04-11 11:43
Corruption Watch intends to launch a website that will help communities hold their local police accountable. (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

Corruption Watch intends to launch a website that will help communities hold their local police accountable. (Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp)

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Non-profit organisation Corruption Watch released its seventh annual report on Wednesday, titled Upholding Democracy.

The report is a compilation of a multitude of voices as well as accounting reports of corruption the organisation received in 2018.

READ: 22% of reported incidents to Corruption Watch in 2018 about education

Corruption Watch's report points to the impact of corruption on the lives of ordinary people.

More broadly, it underscores how corruption erodes the pillars of democracy, taking hold of key institutions of accountability that should exercise oversight of leaders and elected officials.

Here are 10 things you need to know about the report:

  1. South African women are disproportionately affected by corruption. Although more research is needed to adequately explore how corruption contributes to the already adverse social conditions faced by women in South Africa, according to the report, "research shows that women, as primary caregivers to their families, are more likely to be hindered by corruption in accessing healthcare services, schooling and social grants".
  2. Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) scores South Africa 43 out of 100 – the same as in 2017. The CPI ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption in the public sector on a scale of zero to 100, where zero is absolutely corrupt and 100 is absolutely clean.
  3. Since it was launched in 2012, Corruption Watch has received more than 24 500 whistleblower reports. In 2018 alone, they received almost 4 200 reports of corruption.
  4. The vast majority of cases of reported corruption emanate from Gauteng with 45% of all reports generated in the province.
  5. In terms of institutional location, the majority (35%) of reported corruption occurs at a provincial government level while 27% happens at a national level. 
  6. Almost a quarter of whistleblowers reported alleged corruption in the education sector with almost 22% of the total reports received in 2018 dealing with this sector.
  7. In the majority of cases, school principals emerged as the main culprits of corruption, frequently with the help of family members, friends or leading members of school governing bodies (SGBs), due to their access to funds and decisions about expenditure.
  8. Since 2012, Corruption Watch has received 1 463 police corruption reports. For 2018, they received 298 reports, with the majority stemming from Gauteng (55%), KwaZulu-Natal (13%), and the Western Cape (10%). The majority of police corruption cases for 2018 (33%) involve abuse of power by police officials. Bribery (27%) is the second-highest type of corruption experienced by the public in relation to policing.
  9. Since its inception, the organisation has received 586 reports of corruption in public healthcare. In 2018, Corruption Watch received 108 cases, the majority (40%) was from Gauteng. Whistleblowers have highlighted employment irregularities (29%) as the most common form of corruption experienced, followed by procurement irregularities (23%).
  10. In November 2018, Corruption Watch lodged an application against five former board members of Eskom implicated in the state capture report, in terms of the Companies Act and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The Companies Act provides that serious breaches of fiduciary duties allow any person to lodge an application for the removal of directors and applications may be brought by specified individuals for directors to be declared delinquent. This matter is ongoing.

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