Corruption Watch aims to create a corruption-free South Africa through whistleblowing as a means to gather information from the public. Whistleblowing holds government officials accountable for transgressing against the rule of law, thus enhancing the quality of democracy.
Problems and Purpose
Image 1 Credits: (Isilow, 2018)
When looking at South Africa, it is clear that good governance and development within the national economy have gravely been constrained due to the vast amount of corruption present within the state. The growth of corruption within the state may be attributed to factors such as the South African political design. With the majority elected party within South Africa being extremely vast and consuming politics, it has been the cause of declining stability and trust within the state’s government officials at all tiers of government. The majority elected party within South Africa has since 1994 been the ANC and due to their self-serving agenda, they have diminished democratic values and principles. Corruption has been defined in numerous ways, however, within this case study it refers to any act taken by government officials/leaders which may be considered an abuse of the position they hold, public power, or public resources.  Corruption threatens good governance, erodes public trust, undermines the state’s rule of law, declines the accountability of government officials, as well as jeopardizes government and societal ethics. Effective governance within South Africa thus faces severe difficulty as a result of Corruption.  In an interview, the director of Corruption Watch revealed that corruption is not a phenomenon restricted to any social demographic, it is a phenomenon affecting the entire South African nation whether it be in suburban areas or rural areas. Corruption should therefore be viewed as being widespread. 
The design of South African institutions is constructed in a way that should control corruption but does not. For example, the state has a judiciary independent from the executive, media broadcasters are robust in reporting and investigating state matters and civil society participates actively.  These are mechanisms that have been implemented and suggested within varying countries as a means to combat corruption, but South Africa as a state rich with these mechanisms remains corrupt. These mechanisms working within other countries and not South Africa bring to question what factors are influencing the extensive corruption within South Africa. 
One of the factors influencing the extensive corruption within the state is the relationship between government officials and businesses. Often South African politicians are bought by business leaders to prioritise business interests during policy development and state decision-making. In doing this, officials enhance their wealth, whereas businesses are prioritised when policies and decisions are made within the state that may negatively influence the private vendor. Public policies aimed at protecting the public thus end up severely influencing state corruption via emanating the need for businesses to have political connections to further their revenue. 
Minimal political competition in South Africa forms the second factor contributing to the immense corruption within the state.  South Africa has for decades been able to determine who will be the political party elected by the majority of South Africans within national, provincial, and local government. This certainty stems from the ANC being the largest party within the state and its roots in the liberation of South Africa from apartheid. Businesses and corrupt politicians having this certainty allows for investment into the political party that they will later benefit from.  Having political connections within the majority elected party means that the corrupt individuals, be they businesspeople, government officials, or civil society, would now be granted access to exploit public resources for their gain.
Established in 2012, Corruption Watch has worked endlessly to create a South Africa free from corruption by assuring that those who are responsible for distributing public resources do so in a way that reflects the interests of the public. Corruption weakens government institutions; criminalises the individuals involved and undermines social solidarity. The organisation has thus made it its mission to ensure that all corrupt acts within South Africa are prevented and prosecuted to establish a society that is fortified. Whistleblowing is defined as the unapproved reporting of organisational information regarding acts that may be considered illegal or illicit in terms of a state's rule of law, to an individual or organisation that holds the power to take action against the wrongdoing.  By holding government officials accountable, Corruption Watch enhances the quality of democracy experienced within the state, as it fortifies the state's rule of law as a means to establish a just society. Through the encouragement of active public participation in the form of whistleblowing Corruption Watch strives to combat corruption via public accounts of corruption. 
According to Qobo (2023), it is thanks to Corruption Watch that corruption has been placed under a spotlight within South Africa, as well as bringing awareness to the public regarding the dangers of corruption. Qobo (2023) acknowledges that as long as accountability within the state remains weak, Corruption Watch will always have an important part in the anti-corruption fight promoting change within public institutions. By using publicly procured information, Corruption Watch reduces state corruption while holding South African leaders accountable for unconstitutional behaviour. Corruption Watch has created a whistleblowing platform that is safe, secure, and confidential. The platforms utilised are their official website, social media, email, and postal address. By taking this route, the organisation can protect whistleblowers from those who would not have them testify. Once the public has reported acts of corruption, it is the responsibility of the organisation to analyse the information to identify patterns and hotspots for corruption within South Africa. This is followed by the forwarding of the analysis conclusions to state authorities, the media, non-government organisations, and all public bodies which may be affected by the corrupt acts. The purpose of Corruption Watch is thus to combat corruption through the inclusivity and motivation of the public, community organisations, and other organisations such as trade unions . Corruption Watch identified corruption as an act that has severely declined the quality of democracy experienced within South Africa and has a negative effect on the distribution of public resources. The organisation has identified a problem within the state and taken on the responsibility to create a platform for all South Africans to engage and hold those who violate the Constitution of South Africa accountable.
Background History and Context
Image 2 Credits: (Haden, 2015)
Zwelinzima Vavi, the head of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), and various COSATU office bearers were in conversation regarding the influx of whistleblowing reports they had received, and this sparked the idea of Corruption Watch. The whistleblowing reports were majority from members of COSATU, but there were instances of the South African public making these reports. COSATU has been very outspoken regarding corruption within South Africa, and they had numerous successful investigations into corrupt activities. The union had seen various negative repercussions as a result of combatting corruption; however, this did not deter their will to address the whistleblowing reports they had received. Due to the scale of these whistleblowing reports, COSATU had acknowledged the need for an institution to address these allegations of corruption, and thus the idea to establish Corruption Watch was brought to light. 
The transformation from South Africa being under the Apartheid regime to South Africa becoming a democracy was a sudden and decisive constitutional break from the past. Despite the developments of the South African constitution, state institutions that were under colonial and apartheid rule remained. What this meant was that due to these institutional designs not changing, a gateway was opened for the development of contemporary corruption. According to the Auditors general, corruption within South Africa is not limited to any sphere of government and results in the decline of service delivery within national, provincial, and local government. The reason behind the escalation of contemporary corruption within South Africa stems from the ANC as the majority elected party in South Africa exploiting the majority they hold within the state to undermine state institutions. This means that the ANC capitalises on the fact that they have had no real opposition in any area of governance and can undermine institutions aimed at assuring that all spheres of government are accountable and transparent within financial matters. The ANC has thus become dependent on the public sector funds meant for essential services as well as government tenders. 
Around the world, corruption has been a phenomenon plaguing society for decades, however how South Africa came to need an organisation such as Corruption Watch is of grave concern. Corruption within South Africa is more than just an issue of vast criminality present within the state. It is a social issue in need of the public to address it efficiently. The strength of South Africa’s police force and its capability to combat corruption is not enough to address the grey area which corruption is categorised into. Corruption may not always be against the South African rule of law but may go against what South Africans would deem as moral in terms of public norms and perceptions. It thus becomes critical for the public to report these instances for further investigation and for them to be addressed by the designated authority. South Africans have been gravely concerned regarding the effect corruption has on the distribution of public resources and it has become one of the great concerns alongside violent crime.  The inability of state entities to address corruption efficiently has led to the public influx of whistleblowing which sparked the establishment and necessity of Corruption Watch.