R350 Grant Complaints Dominate The Anti-Corruption Hotline.

 

At least 337 cases of alleged corruption in government departments have been reported to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) in the period between April and the end of June this year. This is according to a report released by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday

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Between April and the end of June this year, the National Anti-Wrong-Corruption Hotline (NACH) received at least 337 reports of alleged corruption in government agencies. This is according to a report released by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Thursday.

According to the report, 133 out of the 337 calls to the NACH were complaints related to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant.

According to SASSA, all the cases referred to the institution were closed after conducting the process of appeal. In this respect, some cases were approved and others were rejected with valid reasons. Cases of appointment and procurement irregularities were investigated by the PSC

Other cases related to issues such as procurement irregularities, corruption, fraud and bribery. The report further stated that during the same period last year, only 233 complaints had been recorded, indicating an increase of at least 104 cases.

The report also states that this could be because more people are aware of laws protecting whistleblowers, such as the Protected Disclosures Act, which gives them more confidence in the process and outcomes of blowing the whistle.

Adding that it could also be because whistleblowing is no longer seen as a negative act, as it was during the previous administration, reducing some of the stigma associated with whistleblowing.

The majority of complaints (243) were directed at national departments and public bodies (including SASSA), with the remainder directed at provincial ministries.

The Public Success Commission noted from the feedback provided by departments on a concluded investigation that the number of the complaints investigate were unsubstantiated. To this end, the PSC encourages members of the public and whistleblowers to provide full, detailed information to enable investigators to make informed conclusions.

The report added that all complaints related to corruption allegations must be investigated no matter how minor they may seem. Furthermore, the report stated that Inefficient investigations by government departments were causing whistleblowers to be treated unfairly.

The PSC is concerned that departments are taking an extended period of time in providing feedback, despite the fact that whistleblowers are requesting feedback on progress made with investigations.

Many investigations take longer than expected due to a variety of causes such as complexity and retrieval of supporting data, according to the report. The effectiveness of the NACH is influenced by the efficiency with which departments investigate charges of corrupt behaviour that are reported to them.

The NACH can be reached on 0800 701 701.

 

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