- 78075_cw-annual-report-2018-upholding-democracy-single-pages-agent-orange-design-10042019.pdf (25.76 MB)
While South Africans commemorate the late freedom fighter Chris Hani, who was assassinated 26 years ago, civil society organisation Corruption Watch (CW) on Wednesday released a report on how corruption has eroded the pillars of democracy.
This comes before South Africans cast their votes on May 8 in the national election.
The report titled ‘Upholding Democracy’ highlights the role of civil society and members of the public in 2018, in exposing corruption and holding leaders to account.
The organisation’s executive director David Lewis said Parliament and the National Prosecuting Authority were compromised to enable corruption on the scale evident in the era of State capture.
“We saw how other institutions of our democracy led the fight back against State capture. A robust and independent civil society, media and judiciary are key indicators of a functioning democracy and in our country, these are widely acknowledged for their leading role in confronting State capture,” said Lewis.
Among the trending corruption issues reported by the public over the year were the abuse of power, bribery and procurement corruption while the majority of the 4 200 corruption reports received in 2018 related to provincial government departments, followed by national departments and local government.
After 2017 and 2016, this is the third highest number of reports received since CW’s launch in 2012.
As in previous years, Gauteng recorded the most reports of corruption with 45% of all cases received during 2018, followed by KwaZulu-Natal.
Lewis said that can be largely explained by the relatively large population of Gauteng, the scale of economic activity and the fact that the national government administration is headquartered in the province.
He added that for the first time, Limpopo made the top three with 8% of reports, most likely a result of CW’s public awareness drive in the province in late 2017.
“The largest number of reports received (22%) focused on corruption in the education sector, while complaints about the South African Police Service increased from 6% in 2017 to 9% in 2018, reaching their highest level over the seven-year period. Third on the list are reports of corruption and illegal activities at licensing centres throughout the country.”
Lewis said the report provides a platform for the youth to share their opinions and expectations about the meaning of democracy.
During its public engagements CW gained first-hand accounts of people affected by corruption.
These include failures of mining companies and authorities to honour the mineral rights of people living in mining towns in the North West, and the dire consequences of corruption in the Gauteng Department of Health for those requiring public health services.
Lewis said the report was an opportunity to assess what needed to be done to undo the damage wrought by corruption.
He concluded by saying, “As the late freedom fighter Chris Hani – assassinated on this day 26 years ago – said: ‘What I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists, who drive around in Mercedes Benz’s and use the resources of this country to live in palaces and gather riches.’”
Full Report Attached