Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2019

Degree Type

Thesis (Restricted access)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Stephen Hilkowitz


There is high incidence of fraud and corruption in South African municipalities. Research has shown that compared to detection or response when fraud has already occurred, prevention is the least costly means of combating fraud. Furthermore, the likelihood of recovering funds or assets lost through fraud is low. It is against this background that National Treasury of South f Africa has embraced fraud risk assessments as a tool to prevent fraud in municipalities. In fact, fraud risk assessments are a regulatory requirement for South African municipalities.

This research sought to evaluate the effectiveness of fraud risk assessments conducted at South African municipalities and their impact in fraud prevention. The study revealed that South Africa is incurring big picture damages as a result of fraud and corruption at municipalities, notwithstanding the fraud risk assessments that are being conducted at these institutions. The damages comprise revenue losses, loss of public funds, poor service delivery, increased costs of public services, inferior quality of products/services, and the stifling of entrepreneurial spirit through deterring qualified suppliers from doing business with municipalities. Other consequences of fraud and corruption include damage to organizational reputation and low staff morale/motivation.