Governments and businesses around the world lose large amounts of money each year because of fraud and corruption. These criminal practices mean people who need services the most – like children, disabled people and the elderly –suffer, while criminals reap the benefits.
Corruption and fraud
Corruption can take many forms, but basically, it happens when someone uses their position of power or authority for personal gain or to benefit someone else.
Here are some examples:
- offering or accepting a bribe
- manipulating a process or system in return for money, a gift or a favour
- giving contracts or jobs to friends and family
Corruption can often be difficult to spot. At times an honest business relationship can be blurred with a corrupt relationship, especially when it comes to activities such as working lunches and off-site meetings. However, the best question to ask is: "If I accept this, will it unfairly influence my professional decisions?" If the answer is yes, then there is a risk of corruption occurring.
Fraud can occur when a person unlawfully and intentionally makes a misrepresentation which causes actual prejudice or which is potentially prejudicial to another.
Theft occurs when a person unlawfully and intentionally appropriates movable property which belongs to another with the intention to permanently deprive the other person of such property.
The South African government has created structures to help combat corruption, fraud and theft in the public service.
Report fraud and corruption
You can report corruption, fraud and theft in any government department by phoning the toll free National Anti-Corruption Hotline on 0800 701 701.
Any suspicion of corruption, fraud and theft in the Western Cape Government can also be reported to the Provincial Forensic Services by post, telephone, fax or email:
Read more about how to report corruption, fraud and theft.