Corruption Watch: City of Joburg tops list with most corruption allegations

18 August 2021 - 12:17 By iavan pijoos
Between 2012 and 2020, Corruption Watch received 32,998 whistle-blower reports, of which 16% contained allegations of corruption within local spheres of government. Stock photo.
Between 2012 and 2020, Corruption Watch received 32,998 whistle-blower reports, of which 16% contained allegations of corruption within local spheres of government. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Olivier Le Moal

The City of Johannesburg tops the list of municipalities with the most corruption allegations received, a report by Corruption Watch revealed on Wednesday.

According to the report, “South Africa Needs Clean Hands”, a record 857 allegations of corruption in local government were received in 2020.

Between 2012 and 2020, Corruption Watch received 32,998 whistle-blower reports, of which 16% contained allegations of corruption within local spheres of government.

The report found the municipalities most implicated in corruption-related reports were:

  • the City of Johannesburg with 700 reports; followed by
  • Ekurhuleni with 354 reports;
  • City of Tshwane with 325;
  • eThekwini with 166; and
  • the City of Cape Town with 125 reports.

There had been a 50% increase in cases stemming from the Eastern Cape, the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape compared to the previous year, the report said.

According to the report, the most common forms of corruption are bribery (28%), procurement irregularities (24%), employment irregularities (11%), abuse of power (9%) and embezzlement of funds (8%).

Corruption Watch’s whistle-blowers revealed the most corruption happened in the offices of the municipal manager (34%), local metro police (30%), housing and human settlements (10%), transport (5%) and the office of the executive (5%).

“Our whistle-blowers allege nepotism, bribery, and disregard for policies and laws are common practice, with implicated officials rarely facing accountability,” the report stated.

Politicians and administrators are serving personal, factional and private interests. Not even a global pandemic could make them pause and think about the people they promised to serve.
Melusi Ncala, author of the report

“In the City of Cape Town, for example, whistle-blowers allege companies are encouraged to corrupt the municipality by billing double the amount for services.”

Cape Town officials are also accused of choosing to give friends and relatives employment opportunities without following legislated procedures.

“What is evident in most corruption cases relating to local governance is that SA, broadly, has a leadership crisis,” said Melusi Ncala, researcher and author of the report.

“Consequently, the hedges of the country’s democracy are unprotected because politicians and administrators are serving personal, factional and private interests. Not even a global pandemic could make them pause and think about the people they promised to serve.

“During their frenzy, the hardships experienced by the elderly, unemployed youth and impoverished men and women were compounded due to a lack of basic service delivery.”

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