South Africa: Anti-Corruption report highlights public outcry against abuse of Power

By Crystal Orderson

Posted on Wednesday, 9 March 2016 17:11

The lobby group released its annual corruption report and it showed 2,382 cases were registered during 2015.

More than 10,000 people have reported corruption since the organisation’s inception in 2012. The report’s authors say the nature of the reports received suggest a more informed public better able to understand their own role in taking a stand against corruption.

A key element of the participation that we encourage is for members of the public to report experiences of corruption to us

The corruption hotspots in 2015 were schools, which make up 16% of overall reports during the year, followed by traffic and licensing at 12%, immigration at 6% and housing and healthcare at 5% and 3% respectively.

The, abuse of power constituted the bulk of corruption reports at 38%, followed by bribery at 20% and procurement corruption at 14% of the total.

“Our overriding mission is to encourage and enable public participation in combating corruption. A key element of the participation that we encourage is for members of the public to report experiences of corruption to us,” David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, said.

Lewis said these reports not only enable Corruption Watch to identify patterns and hotspots of corruption and to devise anti-corruption strategies, “but, most importantly, they enable us to speak with the backing of evidence provided by the public”.

Gauteng once again has topped the provincial rankings, making up 50% of reports, followed again by KwaZulu-Natal at 12%, while the remaining provinces hover between 5% and 7%, with the exception of Northern Cape at 2%.

Corruption Watch said the fact that Gauteng once again featured prominently as the province with the highest number of reports is “indicative of a highly engaged and active population” that has been particularly vocal in calling out corruption and of a provincial government that has generally responded constructively to the reports it receives.

Lewis said this year they would be going on a major drive to increase the volume of reports from the victims and opponents of corruption.

Corruption Watch have also launched a nation wide campaign, Bua Mzansi to encourage the public to take an active part in nominating suitable candidates to replace the public protector Thuli Madonsela’s term of office, which ends in October 2016.

Corruption Watch says the effectiveness of the public protector’s work is owed “much to the quality of the leadership of that institution”.

The campaign aims to highlight and monitor the appointment process to ensure it is conducted in a transparent manner and that the outcome reflects public participation and opinion.

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