Dry Pipes and Powerless Plugs: South Africa’s Corruption Crisis
The South African government established extensive government programs to aid the poor at the end of apartheid in 1994. Yet while the programs have helped to set families up in their first homes, many are still without running water or electricity. The New York Times reports that many provincial governments have gone bankrupt and that for some, the “dry pipes and powerless plugs” simply reflect the corruption which continues to plague South Africa.
In provinces like Limpopo, much of the budget has been squandered in side payments to private businesses favored by government officials. Dan Sebabi, a leader of a trade union coalition in Limpopo, explains that there are many “young leaders who are politicians by day and business men by night”. Audits revealed that just 3 out of 39 of South Africa’s were free from corruption last year. The Economist reports that almost 30 billion rand a year is lost in fraudulent deals.