Today is International Day to End Impunity, prompting Corruption Watch to give the title of Hero of the Week to Gauteng Finance Minister Mandla Nkomfe for prioritising corruption busting in local government.
“Through the diligent work of employees and the public, the Gauteng provincial government has unearthed over 150 cases of alleged fraud and corruption ranging from procurement irregularities and financial misconduct to fraud and theft of medication and food supplies,” Nkomfe said at the province’s first International Fraud Awareness Seminar, which ran from 12 to 17 of this month.
According to data provided by the Public Service Commission, the highest number of reports of alleged fraud and corruption reported through the National Anti-Corruption Hotline come from Gauteng.
International research suggests that 5% of annual revenue is lost to corruption in private and public industry. Gauteng is the biggest single contributor to the country’s gross domestic product, despite being the smallest in land area. According to the commission, the Gauteng government has lost over R19-million to financial misconduct between 2009 and 2011. 
In a statement released by the Democratic Alliance at the end of last month, the party was critical of how few reports had been investigated by the hotline. “The Gauteng Provincial Government has finalised only 524 (37%) out of 1 417 tip-offs from the National Anti-Corruption Hotline. Feedback was received in 54% of cases, and the rest were simply ignored,” read the document. These figures were calculated from the inception of the hotline in 2004.”
According to Corruption Watch data, vehicle licensing, health care, and housing received the highest number of reports involving corruption. Licensing accounted for over 30% of these reports. However, this high percentage was partially attributed to the organisation’s “No More Tjo-Tjo” campaign that kicked off earlier in the year.
Nkomfe has no easy task ahead, but he remains firm on the province’s commitment to fighting fraud and corruption. “We are in this together, that is why there’s a need for the public and private sector to work very closely to develop and implement strategies aimed at combating this challenge.  We cannot allow some among us to operate with impunity,” he added.
To read the full transcript of the minister’s speech, click here
It is the powerhouse of South Africa’s economy, but Gauteng is also a cesspit of tender-rigging, fraud and bribery. On International Day to End Impunity, we make the province’s finance MEC our hero, for his firm commitment to ridding the province of corruption.