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Corruption Watch reaffirms commitment to fight corruption


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Corruption Watch reaffirms commitment to fight corruption

Corruption Watch reaffirms commitment to fight corruption

3rd April 2024

By: Thabi Shomolekae
Creamer Media Senior Writer


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Non-profit organisation Corruption Watch (CW) highlights that poor leadership and lack of accountability have eroded public trust and confidence in the State’s capacity to deliver on the promise of an equal and just society, as impunity for those implicated in wrongdoing continues.

The organisation says that along with these challenges, massive corruption and mismanagement have contributed to rising levels of poverty, inequality, unemployment, crime and deteriorating infrastructure, utilities and services.


On Wednesday, CW released its twelfth yearly corruption report, titled 'Changing the Landscape’, just as South African prepares for a crucial national election.

The organisation explains that the report bears “stark witness” to the path South Africa finds itself on after 30 years of democracy, and the reality of the multiple crises that threaten the fulfilment of the State’s electoral and constitutional mandate.


“Corruption Watch remains at the centre of the fight against corruption, determined to hold those in power accountable because we understand that this hard-won democracy must be defended by all South Africans who care about the future of their country,” says CW board chairperson Themba Maseko.

CW executive director Karam Singh echos the need to preserve South Africa’s democracy, cautioning that citizens 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,” he says.

More than 12 years since its inception, CW has received over 46 900 complaints of alleged corruption, an average of 11 reports per day, which has provided valuable insight and has helped to shape many of the organisation’s interventions and activities, the organisation says.


In 2023 the organisation received 2 110 reports, and as in the previous year, these largely focused on wrongdoing and malfeasance in the mining sector. This made up 38% of complaints.

Most of these reports resulted from the CW team’s specific interventions in mining communities experiencing the brunt of the effects of corruption.

Similarly, the second highest number of complaints received was in the policing sector, at 23%, followed by business at 16%, basic education at 12%, and State-owned entities at 11%.

The organisation explained that these figures speak to government’s failure to provide basic services and rights such as efficient policing, safety and security, employment and education.

The predominant types of corruption reported in 2023 were maladministration, a major area of concern accounting for 34% of reports, followed by fraud at 21%, employment irregularities at 16%, bribery or extortion at 15% and procurement irregularities at 13%.

The cities of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Cape Town collectively account for 71% of corruption incidents out of the five municipalities with the highest number of corruption reports.

The other two are Dannhauser and Matjhabeng at 15% and 14% respectively.

Gauteng received 37% of complaints, followed by KwaZulu-Natal with 19%, Free State with 10% and the Western Cape with 9%.

These provinces, which collectively represent 75% of reports, are all considered to be hotspots for monitoring corruption, said CW.

CW’s work in 2023 was multi-faceted, with interventions across sectors and channels to advocate for greater awareness of people’s rights, improvements to legislation and policy, and participation in processes and on platforms to address loopholes and system failures that allow corruption to thrive.

Aside from work on corruption in the land sector, the CW team kept its attention on several other critical areas with the potential to have far-reaching consequences in relation to transparency and accountability.

These included the monitoring of significant leadership appointment processes, submissions to key legislative amendments, and scrutiny of corruption in the corporate sector, CW explains.

“Together we can change the landscape – many of the blueprints are already on the table including the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Zondo Commission recommendations. The future of our democratic health depends on reversing the decline and fulfilling the promise of the Constitution and the liberation struggle,” concludes Singh.

Click here for the full Corruption Watch’s 2023 annual report.


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