Nine corrupt institutions bigger than Nkandla

Corruption definition:

Dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery

The more corrupt a country is, the poorer, sicker, more underdeveloped and unsuccessful its people are. Lower levels of corruption are tied to higher levels of advancement, better mortality rates and a higher quality of life. If left unchecked, corruption erodes public confidence in the country’s institutions as well as investor confidence, poisons the business climate and fosters despair. It menaces the very survival of the state.

It should therefore be a great cause for concern that South Africa’s 2014 rating in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index was an unsatisfactory 44 out of 100 (with 0 indicating a perception that a country is highly corrupt). South Africa ranked 67th out of 175 countries

Quantifying the exact extent of graft in a given country is a notoriously difficult exercise, but according to the Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa R700 million was lost due to corruption during the two decades following the dawn of democracy.

Solidarity research institute analysed ten case studies using various media sources and indices. In tenth place is the infamous Nkandla debacle whilst nine other institutions or cases outrank it in terms of the scale, seriousness and pervasiveness of their corruption.

1. Local government
Corruption and financial irregularities are rife within local government and has a dire impact on the lives of communities. As government’s interface with the public, officials that irregularly spend, solicit or waste much-needed and precious resources are diverting them away from essential service-delivery functions and local economies. In 2013, Corruption  ... Read more
2. Tenderpreneurship
Masked as a way to empower previously disadvantaged businesspeople, tenderpreneurship has become one of the most deleterious banes of the new South Africa. It is completely systemic, it has degenerated into unalloyed cronyism and is costing the economy billions each year. In its most basic form, tenderpreneurship involves government employees  ... Read more
3. Tshwane Prepaid Meters
What seemed like a wise measure aimed at combatting the non-payment of electricity in the City of Tshwane, was exposed as an exceedingly expensive and corrupt imbroglio. The DA equated it to eight Nkandlas and it is yet another example of the nefarious and noxious nature of tenderpreneurship. Following a  ... Read more
4. The South African Police Service
Corruption in the police is a very serious matter as issues of justice and accountability are at stake. Cash-flush criminals could bribe police officers to thwart cases against them while poor people are denied justice as they simply do not have the means to pay police officers to do the  ... Read more
5. The metro police
A simple Google search combining the terms “metro police” and “corruption” generates 123 000 results within 0,3 seconds. Transposing “corruption” and “bribes” delivers more than 35 000 results instantaneously. This institution frequently hogs headlines for all the wrong reasons. Metro police officers are regularly accused of soliciting and accepting bribes  ... Read more
6. Prasa
Reeling from recent revelations on a corrupt tender that saw R620 million being wasted on unsuitable locomotives, the beleaguered Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has been coming off its rails. Articles in the Afrikaans Sunday paper Rapport detailed how former CEO Lucky Montana had benefited abundantly and irregularly  ... Read more
7. False qualifications
Ever since the ignominious revelations that ANC spokesperson Carl Niehaus lied about his qualifications, many government bigwigs have been outed as qualification falsifiers. Although they do not directly accept bribes or manipulate tenders, they reap the substantial financial and other benefits of their positions solely due to their fraudulent CVs.  ... Read more
8. Home Affairs
Due to the nature of, and functions performed by, the Department of Home Affairs, this department is incredibly vulnerable to corruption. Without an identity document or birth certificate, a person cannot apply for work, study, obtain a driving license or conduct most personal and professional affairs. This apportions a lot  ... Read more
9. The cabinet and parliament
It should be a very worrying sign that the political custodians of the country are engaging in massively corrupt practices and have a wanton disregard for taxpayers’ money. For instance, in 2006, 14 ANC LPs were convicted and fined after pleading guilty to theft and fraud charges due to the  ... Read more
10. Nkandla
Owing to intense and often sensational media coverage and the opposition parties’ expediency on the issue, President Jacob Zuma’s homestead (along with its many bells and whistles) has become the most prominent instance of corruption and the misuse of public funds in recent times. The Public Protector, in her report  ... Read more
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