Understanding political corruption in post-apartheid South Africa: The Gauteng Experience 1994-2004

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dc.contributor.author Gaston, Kalombo
dc.date.accessioned 2006-11-16T10:11:55Z
dc.date.available 2006-11-16T10:11:55Z
dc.date.issued 2006-11-16T10:11:55Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10539/1790
dc.description Faculty of Humanities School of Social Sciences 9304636m kalombo@hse.pg.wits.ac.za en
dc.description.abstract The objective of this study was to unveil the effectiveness of current strategies put in place to thwart the root causes of corruption and its damaging effects on economic growth and political development in the Gauteng Provincial Government. To achieve this purpose, this thesis looked at the incidence of political corruption in South Africa in general and Gauteng in particular, in an attempt to ascertain the implication of the political and historical legacy of corruption on democratic governance. This work is an attempt to raise awareness and understanding of the problem of corruption, more a step toward transparency and accountability. The research project is positioned within the qualitative paradigm at the preliminary stage to establish a historical background of political corruption. And within the quantitative research at the second stage that required establishing from the preliminary research a sizeable sample of (approximately 100) key individuals and people in the field of corruption to which detailed questionnaires were distributed. The main findings as shown from the Gauteng experience were that in Gauteng, cases of corruption were widespread in almost all departments where public servants exploited state structures and used them to extract benefits for their own gains. However, the departments the most vulnerable to corrupt practices were those of Housing, Safety and Security, Transport and Public Works, Education, Welfare, Local Government and Health. As discovered, areas such as affirmative action, tendering or the expanded provision of benefits (e.g. in Housing, Welfare or Education) are areas that are vulnerable to corruption and are all associated with transformation/democratization projects. However, the incidence of corruption in the province can be explained by Gauteng’s lack of a “traditional” culture base that may make leaders especially susceptible to acquisitive and individualistic forms of behaviour. As a result corruption impacts negatively on the political process by undermining the legitimacy of the state and economically by impeding developmental strategies, as “corruption leads to loss of much needed revenue and human talent for development, distorts priorities for public policy, and shifts scarce resources away from the public interest … Political instability, corruption, and underdevelopment are mutually reinforcing” (Elliot: 2001:926). vi In terms of anti-corruption measures, the study has found that Gauteng is on the right path, as anti-corruption measures applied in the province suit those applied at the national level, that in turn are in the same line with international practices. The study argues that while Gauteng anti-corruption measures have succeeded in reducing corruption levels, they have not stopped it, as new cases surface almost every week in the local press. Thus there is still room for improvement if the Gauteng government aims to succeed. The researcher has recommended that there is a need for common guidelines and coordination strategies amongst internal departmental anti-corruption units that have been established and the initiation in each department of its own monitoring and evaluation capacity. This means the build-up and the improvement of internal audits and controls by higher authority applicable to both officialdom and the business sector. Finally the study assumes that many other examples of strategies to fight corruption could be provided, however, the ones provided are sufficient to argue the point that in many cases the fight against corruption cannot proceed independently from the reform of the state. In many ways it is the same fight. The study’s major conclusions concern those general assumptions about the relationship between democracy and good governance, which characterize certain theories concerning the causation of corruption, need to be revised. Even the most authoritarian systems, as was apartheid, were able to control the levels of corruption and keep it at an economically viable level. To this end, other mechanisms such as accounting standards and audits and direct accountability of leadership in government need to be strengthened alongside with the protection of whistleblowers. But the end result is that several factors associated with these mechanisms have highlighted the fact that transparency and the resulting exposure have increased opportunities for graft. In more democratic and open societies, besides greater civic engagement, the chance of closer monitoring and exposure of corrupt officials and politicians is higher than in no democratic society. Freedom of the press and of association leads public interest groups to expose abuses of power. While democracy seems to decrease corruption, both variables interact strongly with the level of transition. Hence the needs for more research on the actual effect of democratization in government departments that will serve the cause of anti-corruption campaign better. en
dc.format.extent 3840003 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject anti-corruption en
dc.subject government en
dc.subject Gauteng en
dc.subject South Africa en
dc.subject historical en
dc.title Understanding political corruption in post-apartheid South Africa: The Gauteng Experience 1994-2004 en
dc.type Thesis en

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