The impact of corruption in recruitment and procurement within local government and its impact on service delivery, using the KwaZulu-Natal department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs as a case study.
Mchunu, Ngqapheli Obadia.
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The dawn of democracy in 1994 may have signalled a new beginning for South Africa politically. Economically, however, it was not going to be the case unless the socio-economic inequalities that the apartheid regime had left behind could be sufficiently addressed by the incoming government. In a bid to redress the social imbalances of the past, the ANC-led government has embarked on a journey that seeks to get rid of structural inequalities that faced South Africans and also to provide adequate service delivery. Since the democratic dispensation, South Africa has faced various challenges ranging from rampant crime in local communities, inequality and unemployment, combined with the ever-rising cost of living, In addition, the HIV/AIDS epidemic also posed a major threat to the livelihood of many South Africans. Remarkable progress has been made in fighting the disease and significant strides have also been made in dealing with other socio-economic challenges that the country has been faced with. Corruption, however, is the challenge that is being seen as next on the South African horizon. Moreover, research conducted by various research institutions points to an ever-increasing concern about corruption in the South African government. In addition, further research conducted points to an increase in public sector corruption over the past 10 – 15 years. This research looks at challenges of corruption within recruitment and procurement units in the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, particularly in the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs. Using a mixed-method research methodology, this research looks at perceptions of corruption from potential young public servants and corruption challenges from a senior public official’s standpoint and how this impacts on service delivery in the province. The study takes place in Pietermaritzburg, at the University of KwaZulu-Natal campus where the questionnaire is conducted and the qualitative interviews are done in the respective participants’ offices. Findings from this research indicate that there is huge perception of the existence of corruption in the department. Moreover, corruption within the department seems to affect service delivery directly through the way in which services through procurement are disrupted by corruption activities such as bribery, extortion and nepotism.