Want to know how many complaints we’ve received this year, what they are about, who they’re about and where the hotspots are? Be sure to brush up on the latest stats and facts in our first quarter report for 2013 where we Draw the line on corruption!

The game of corruption is always changing: new players emerge and, subsequently, new rules. A culture of corruption is being cultivated in the public sphere and bribing a traffic officer or greasing an official’s palm for a tender has become somewhat of a norm. For this reason, we salute all those committed individuals who have broken their silence, turned up the volume on corruption and are now assisting us in ruling out corruption for good.

From January to April 2013, we received 557 complaints from the public. This adds to the 3 281 received in 2012. In the first quarter of this year Gauteng remained the province where most of the cases came from, while the web came up as the most popular channel of reporting them.

The majority of complaints received in the first quarter were about the abuse of power or resources, bribery and procurement corruption. Three investigations into these complaints received good exposure, both on our platforms and in mainstream media – these were the Mvula Trust saga, Mmutle school exposé and coverage on procurement irregularities at Dr JS Moroka local municipality, which lead to three suspensions.

Our Bra Tjo-tjo YouTube series got off to a flying start in the first quarter, with episodes about school feeding schemes, inflated tenders for a website deal and the Gupta debacle. These videos, together with our public awareness campaign around Gauteng in May, aimed to get more South Africans to report their experiences of corruption to us.

Looking at complaints received from the other provinces, KwaZulu-Natal and Free State came after Gauteng as provinces with a sizeable number of cases, while those from Western Cape, Mpumalanga and North West were less. The Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Northern Cape recorded the least number of complaints.

While cases coming from small towns dropped by about 6% in the first part of 2013, the number remains significant given the large volume of cases from Gauteng and the continued limited marketing effort in small towns.

In terms of institutional context, provincial government was implicated the most in cases we received from the public in the first quarter, followed by national government, local government, state-owned enterprises, NGOs and then unions.

We received 64 complaints about corruption in education during this period, and 50 of these concerned schools – results which reaffirm the importance of our ongoing campaign targeting corruption in these institutions.

Rhodents rise up to fight

In mid-May the students of Rhodes demonstrated just how serious they are about fixing South Africa when their SRC president Sakhe Badi addressed members of the university at the second annual Corruption Watch lecture: “We as civil society need to be concerned about the exercise of any individual’s power whether in the public or private sector, and in particular with the abuse of that power which undermines our constitutional values … We as the SRC are certainly making a commitment to the Corruption Watch programme and also encourage all students and SRC substructures to partake in it,” he said.

Last year Rhodes University made history when it became the first South African higher education institution as a whole to sign our pledge.

With more South Africans joining our fight and drawing the line on corruption, we look forward to an action-packed second quarter of corruption-busting!