Anti-corruption hotline yielding results
The most common dilemma facing whistleblowers and members of the public who want to report corruption is fear for their safety and victimisation.
Some people turn a blind eye to corruption for fear that acting on it will jeopardise their career, or even their life. But there are laws that protect whistleblowers or people who report corruption in South Africa. The government’s Anti-corruption Hotline enables people to report corruption anon- ymously and this way, the identity of people reporting corruption remains protected.
Launched on 1 September 2004, the aim of the Anti-corruption Hotline is to create a central database for the reporting and monitoring of cases of corruption, while eliminating the duplication of investigation and resources.
The Public Service Commission (PSC), as the institution tasked with overseeing the performance of the public service, is the custodian of the hotline. By dialling the hotline on 0800 701 701, anyone can report acts of corruption.
From September 2004 to March 2017, the hotline was given a stamp of approval for its role in netting 3 655 people who were found guilty of misconduct.
“We are making a dent as shown with the numbers: 1 740 officials were dismissed, 450 were fined, 140 were demoted, 927 officials were given final written warnings and 395 were criminally prosecut- ed,” says Public Service Commissioner Sellinah Nkosi.
At the end of the 2017/18 financial year, through the successful investigation of cases reported through the hotline, R420 million was recovered and put back into the public purse.
During the 2017/18 financial year, the PSC received 882 cases through the Anti-corruption Hot- line. In this period, complaints about social grant fraud led the pack with 594 cases reported.Cases of unethical behaviour (69), fraud and bribery (34),appointment irregularities (26), procurement irregularities (24), abuse of government resources (18), maladministration (15), criminal conduct other than fraud and bribery (17), abuse of power (14) and identity fraud (13) made the top-10 cut for complaints lodged.