Jan 2022 edition

Corruption hurts everyone

Written by Allison Cooper

Bribery, fraud and corruption stall service delivery, making the rich even richer, and the poor and vulnerable even poorer.

According to Kaizer Kganyago, the Head of Stakeholder Relations and Communications at the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), corruption has a negative impact on government’s ability to deliver basic services, such as electricity, roads, build infrastructure, and provide healthcare, water and sanitation.

“Corruption in public administration affects all of us. It takes trust out of the system. It takes money out of the system that could otherwise be used for the good of the community”.

“It leaves the less privileged poorer, and cuts down employment opportunities as less resources are available for public investment,” he says.

What is corruption?

Corruption is when people in power use their position to make themselves or others they know rich, or to benefit themselves in some other way.

“This includes accepting bribes or other gifts and using public money for personal gain,“ says Kganyago.

Some examples of corruption include:

  • A government official selling an RDP house, which results in the house not going to the worthy recipient who has been on the waiting list for a long time.
  • Bribing a traffic officer: By doing so, you don’t take responsibility for your actions and continue to put other road users and pedestrians at risk.
  • Bribing police officers: Criminals who do this remain on the street and make our communities unsafe.
  • Installing illegal electricity connections: Besides not paying for electricity, illegal connections don’t have the required electrical protection and people can get electrocuted.
  • Giving contracts or jobs to friends or family: When this happens, the person who deserves the job does not get it, and the person employed often doesn’t have the skills needed to do the job properly.
  • Manipulating a process or system in return for money, a gift or favour.

Kganyago says the public can contribute to the fight against corruption by reporting corruption at government departments, municipalities and state-owned entities. 

Report corruption to the SIU by calling the toll-free whistle-blower hotline at 0800 037 774, sending an SMS to 30916, emailing siu@thehotline.co.za, or using the telephone web app: www.thehotlineapp.co.za or website: www.thehotline.co.za

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