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South Africa has acquired another unwanted title, this time from Transparency International. In its latest report released this month (full report at the end of the article), the organisation which monitors levels of graft around the world reports that 83% of South Africans believe corruption has increased in the past year. This compares with the African average where 58% of those surveyed believe corruption has risen (22% think it has dropped). The results are based on interviews with 43 143 people across the continent. The good news, though, is that the corruption of cancer can be beaten by the right leadership. Neither is it an “African” thing. In both Botswana and Mauritius less than 1% of the respondents said they had paid a bribe, a figure that’s in line with the First World. In South Africa, 79% of the 2 390 people surveyed in the country, said they think the Government is doing badly in fighting corruption; 46% of them believe President Jacob Zuma is personally involved in corruption. A fish rots from the top. – Alec Hogg
The key findings from Transparency International:
- Corruption seen to be on the rise – The majority of Africans (58%) say that corruption has increased over the past year. This is particularly the case in South Africa where more than four-in-five citizens (83%) say they have seen corruption rise recently.
- Most Government are failing in their fight against corruption – There is no government which is rated positively on its anti-corruption efforts by a clear majority of its citizens. Out of 28 governments, 18 are seen as completely failing to address corruption.
- Police and private sector seen as most corrupt – Across the region, the police and business executives are seen to have the highest levels of corruption. The police have regularly been rated as highly corrupt, but the strongly negative assessment of business executives is a new development.
- Bribery affects more than one-in-five Africans, hurts poor the most – 22 per cent of Africans who came into contact with a public service in the past 12 months say they paid a bribe. The situation is worst in Liberia where 69 per cent paid a bribe. Across the region, poor public service users are twice as likely as rich people to have paid a bribe.
- Police and courts have highest rate of bribery -Out of six key public services, people who come into contact with the police and the courts are the most likely to have paid a bribe. This is consistent with our previous surveys and highlights the lack of progress made in addressing bribery in these two institutions, which are crucial for citizen security and the rule of law.
- Many people feel unable to fight corruption – People in the region are divided as to whether ordinary people can make a difference in the fight against corruption – just over half of people think that they can (53 per cent), while 38 per cent think they cannot. Only roughly one-in-ten people who paid a bribe actually reported it.
- Tackling corruption is possible – There are a few countries in which citizens see low levels of corruption in their public institutions and see corruption as on the wane in their own country. The views of citizens in Botswana, Burkina Faso, Lesotho and Senegal are particularly positive.
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.