The Corruption Watch 2014 Report found that the majority of the people who report corruption to the organisation are African men, aged between 30 and 59, and mainly employed in public service.
The report profiles the landscape of corruption in South Africa based on the information provided to Corruption Watch by members of the public and gathered via a survey of a 10 percent sample of the people who have contacted the organisation in 2013.
Since January 2012, Corruption Watch has received 5 485 reports of alleged corruption and 2 262 of these were reported in 2013. The number of cases representing actual corruption – understood as abuse of public power and resources for personal gain – increased from 38 percent in 2012 to 58 percent in 2013.
“The increase in the number of actual corruption reports is not surprising. The latest data shows that the organisation’s role and the definition of corruption are now better understood. In our first year, in 2012, we had 3 223 reports which mostly fell outside of our area of focus. The latest data indicates that people understand that Corruption Watch is here to amplify the public’s voice on abuse of public resources instead of dealing with consumer or labour disputes,” said executive director of Corruption Watch, David Lewis.
The 2013 data reveals that people who reported to Corruption Watch in 2013 are mostly men – 74 percent of the sample. More than 90 percent are African and 81 percent are between the ages of 30 and 59, with 33 percent of this group being in their forties. About 37 percent of corruption reporters have completed secondary education and 44 percent have tertiary education. Most (63 percent) are employed or self-employed, and more than half (56 percent) of these work in the public sector.
The reporting trends from 2012 and 2013 by province have slightly shifted, with Gauteng topping the provincial charts at 38 percent, down from 46 percent in 2012. KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape followed closely with 13 percent, both up from 10 percent and eight percent respectively. The Free State is the only province where there was a significant increase from seven percent in 2012 to 14 percent in 2013.
A massive 77 percent of the people who chose to report to Corruption Watch said they did so because they did not know of any other organisation to report to. Some 53 percent of the corruption reporters had previously presented their cases to organisations such as national and provincial government departments and most commonly, to the Public Protector or South African Police Service but did not receive the assistance they expected.
Asked to explain their reasons for reporting to Corruption Watch, 48 percent said they felt morally obliged to report and believed it was the right thing to do and 28 percent said they reported because they believed the South African laws required them to do so.
Most striking was the 59 percent who said they reported corruption as they felt confident they we were capable of combatting corruption. This is consistent with the findings of Transparency International’s 2013 Global Corruption Barometer that 89 percent of South Africans are willing to join in fighting corruption: “This is very encouraging. We believe there are more people who wish to engage constructively in combatting corruption. It is now the right time for us to expand the spaces for people to use their collective voices to speak against corruption and hold leaders accountable,” said Lewis.
Corruption Watch now offers an online interactive platform for active corruption fighters to join and engage with other like-minded activists on matters of corruption. The platform built by Concursive Corporation can be accessed at corruptionwatchconnected.org. The organisation has also partnered with Mxit Reach to widely share its reporting line and public education content via cwconnect on Mxit.
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For more information on the corruption trends based on data collected by Corruption Watch, refer to www.corruptionwatch.org.za.