Driving-test bribery widespread – survey

2013-05-29 16:40

Nearly three in five young South Africans with a driver’s licence claim to know people who paid bribes to pass their tests, according to a survey.

It found that 59% of licensed respondents claimed to know people who bribed to get their licences. At least 30% said they did not know anyone who bribed, and 11% were unsure.

The cellphone survey by Pondering Panda was conducted among 2 768 people aged between 18 and 34. According to the survey, bribery occurred mostly in Limpopo, where 77% of respondents claimed to know people who bribed, and in the Eastern Cape, with 70%.

Western Cape respondents were least likely to make the claim, with 49% saying they knew someone who had bribed their way to obtaining a licence.

At least 30% of total licensed respondents said long waiting times were the main reason for bribery, while 28% said traffic officials would fail applicants if they did not receive money.

At least 21% said the test itself was too difficult and this resulted in bribery.

At least 81% of all respondents – licensed and not – believed there was corruption in traffic departments.

Pondering Panda spokesperson Shirley Wakefield said the survey showed bribery and corruption were endemic in traffic departments.

“The fact that the majority of young drivers claim to know someone who has obtained their driver’s licence through bribery should be very worrying to the government,” she said.

“South Africa’s roads are already among the most dangerous in the world and new drivers who have not passed their test are only making the situation worse.”

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