Most South Africans pay bribes - survey

2015-12-09 12:38
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - At least 75% of South Africans who were asked for a bribe ended up paying one, according to a survey conducted by the Ethics Institute of SA (EthicsSA).

The average traffic bribe costs around R200, it found, while most bribes were offered in Limpopo province.

Professor Deon Rossouw, CEO of EthicsSA, said the 75 percent figure was worrying. 

"Virtually everybody agrees that not enough is being done to combat bribery in the country, but perhaps we should be talking more about people’s individual responsibility not to participate in bribery," he said in a statement. 

The survey, which was conducted with 6 380 respondents in Massmart stores in Gauteng, Durban, Cape Town and Polokwane, conversely found that 25% of people did not pay bribes when asked to do so. 

It also found that 26% of respondents knew of someone who had been asked for a bribe in the past year. 

Most bribes (36%) were reportedly to avoid traffic offences, followed by bribes for jobs (17%), with unskilled and semi-skilled workers being most vulnerable to bribe requests in order to obtain jobs.

Prevalent in private sector

Bribes relating to tenders accounted for 7% of the responses, while 4% related to getting reduced prices or free goods from businesses. 

The most common amount for a bribe was R100, with 55% of all bribes falling below the R1 000 mark. 

Bribe amounts related to tenders were the highest on average (R103 288), and the lowest average bribe amount was for traffic offences (R219). 

The survey, which was sponsored by Massmart-Walmart, found that one is most likely to be approached for a bribe in Limpopo (48%). 

Bribes are least likely to be solicited in the Western Cape (19%), followed by Gauteng (25%) and KwaZulu-Natal (26%).

Rossouw said the findings show that bribery is prevalent in the private sector, despite the widespread view that it primarily affects the public sector. 

“While we expected that bribery for contracts and jobs would be prevalent in the private sector, we were surprised by the extent to which private sector companies are being targeted for bribes to get discounts or free goods," he said. 

Massmart spokesperson Johan Stander said the company got involved in the survey because they were "dedicated to doing business the right way". 

"We have a significant anti-corruption compliance program, and believe we have a broader anti-corruption role to play in South Africa," he said. 

"So, we wanted to put our money where our mouth is... and partner with EthicsSA to sponsor the survey."

The Massmart stores involved included Builders Warehouse, Game, Makro, Jumbo and DionWired. 

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.