From January 1 to June 30, 2 469 cases of corruption were lodged with Corruption Watch the organisation noted in its ‘2018 Analysis of Corruption Trends (ACT)’ report, which it released on Tuesday.
Six areas of concern were highlighted by these cases, including schools, municipalities, the South African Police Service (SAPS), licensing centres, State-owned entities (SOEs) and the health sector.
Individual reports speak of corruption in municipalities, most notably discrepancies in employment processes, and procurement irregularities that benefit companies and individuals at the expense of more competent service providers.
Other forms of corruption include bribery, embezzlement of funds and theft of resources.
“For instance, there has been a 1.4% increase in the number of cases of corruption in schools related to embezzlement of funds and theft of resources, which amount to 35.5% of schools reports,” the organisation stated.
This, Corruption Watch said, suggests a continuing trend of people willing to use schools as an opportunity to steal or misappropriate funds.
Further, “this year’s statistics include corruption cases featuring sextortion (3.1%), in which teachers and principals are implicated in soliciting sexual favours from learners in exchange for marks – an extremely disturbing trend.”
With regard to the SAPS, Corruption Watch noted that corruption has eroded its ability to protect the public and instil confidence in their performance.
Meanwhile, the status of health services, along with the growing number of corruption cases reported in this sector, has prompted the organization to place greater emphasis on the healthcare sector by launching a campaign calling on the public to report their experiences of corruption.
“The extent of corruption within SOEs is also reflected in the increased number of corruption-related cases received during this period; of the 3.1% corruption reports, 44% indicate irregularities in procurement by SOEs.”
Corruption Watch said the evidence suggests that procurement officers who do not follow due process in the appointment of contractors, are also not held to account for their transgressions.
Linked to the contravention of procurement processes are the the 20.3% of cases indicating bribery by companies in order to secure lucrative contracts.
Gauteng accounts for 39.8% of the total number of reports, reflecting Corruption Watch’s profile in the province, and its population figures. KwaZulu-Natal accounts for 9.6% of total reports, followed by the Eastern Cape and Western Cape jointly representing 6.5% of the total corruption reports.
“While the headlines and the national debate are focused on the stories of grand corruption, spare a thought for the child whose school lunch is stolen, for the impoverished hospital patient who is forced to pay for care at a public hospital, for the community terrorised by gangsters and drug dealers who have bribed the local police and local councillors to look the other way,” commented Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis.
“The . . . report demonstrates the need for continuing vigilance over our public institutions, and for the public to expose corruption in all its shapes and forms,” Corruption Watch added.
Further, it commended whistle-blowers and urged everyone living in South Africa to commit themselves to creating an environment that is intolerant of corruption.