Over 80% of South Africans believe corruption on the rise

By Drum Digital
02 December 2015

A survey has found that more than four out of five South Africans believe there has been a recent increase in corruption in the country.

The survey involved 43 143 respondents across 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa between March 2014 and September 2015.

Overall, the majority of Africans (58%) polled say that corruption has increased over the past year.

According to Transparency International's People and Corruption: Africa Survey 2015 - Global Corruption Barometer, South Africa was at the top of the list, with 83% of those surveyed saying they believed corruption in the country was on the rise.

South Africa was followed by Ghana and Nigeria, where 76% and 75% of people felt that corruption has increased in their respective countries.

The survey found that 79% of South Africans surveyed believed that the government was doing badly in terms of fighting corruption.

Just over half (56%) of those surveyed also felt ordinary people could do something against corruption.

Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said on Tuesday that the survey was conducted during the period when the government was responding to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

"We believe that the extraordinarily high number of South Africans who perceive corruption to have increased reflects everyday experience, but principally reflects public judgment on the Nkandla fiasco," he said.

"South Africa ends the year with that issue unresolved and with several major corruption scandals on the boil."

The report went on to estimate that some 75 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa had paid a bribe in the past year - either to escape punishment by the police or courts, or they were forced to pay to get access to basic services.

Across the continent, poor people who use public services were twice as likely as rich people to have paid a bribe, and in urban areas they were even more likely to pay bribes, according to the report.

“Corruption creates and increases poverty and exclusion. While corrupt individuals with political power enjoy a lavish life, millions of Africans are deprived of their basic needs like food, health, education, housing, access to clean water and sanitation,” Transparency International Chair José Ugaz said in a statement.

Ugaz called on governments and judges to “stop corruption, eradicate impunity and implement Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals to curb corruption”.

Source: Fin24

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