Amp up the volume

​Corruption Watch has released its annual report for 2015, and marked its four-year anniversary of operations. The report, titled Amp up the volume, highlights the power of public participation in the fight against corruption. Since the organisation’s launch in January 2012 to the end of December 2015, 10 573 reports were filed, 2 382 in 2015 alone. Of these, 71% of reports fell within our definition of corruption compared to 56% in the previous year. We define corruption as the abuse of public resources or public power for personal gain.

Our overriding mission is to encourage and enable public participation in combating corruption.

David Lewis, Executive Director of Corruption Watch.

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

The reports submitted to Corruption Watch not only enables it to identify patterns and hotspots of corruption and to devise anti-corruption strategies, said Lewis, but also enable the organisation to speak with the backing of evidence provided by the public.

Our annual report shows that the corruption hotspots in 2015 are schools (16% of all reports), then traffic and licensing (12%), and immigration, housing and healthcare at 6%, 5% and 3% respectively. Most of our reports were generated in Gauteng – 50% of them came from the smallest province, followed by KwaZulu-Natal at 12%, while the remaining provinces hover between 5% and 7%, with the exception of Northern Cape at 2%.

This does not mean that Gauteng is the most corrupt province – rather that Corruption Watch’s profile is higher here because of the constructive relationships we’ve developed with the Johannesburg Metro Police and the Gauteng Department of Education, among others. Also, Gauteng is home to all national departments located in Tshwane and finally, it has the biggest population of all provinces.

As in previous years, abuse of power made up the bulk of corruption reports at 38%, followed by bribery at 20% and procurement corruption at 14% of the total.

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