- South Africa's fight against corruption has stagnated, says Corruption Watch.
- The country scored 44 out of 100 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.
- South Africa's score has improved only marginally over the last decade.
Despite the State Capture Inquiry's extensive probe and the bolstering of institutions such as the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority, South Africa's performance on an international index measuring corruption was "mediocre".
According to the Corruption Perceptions Index, which was released on Tuesday by Transparency International (TI), South Africa scored 44 out of 100. The index ranks 180 countries according to their perceived levels of public sector corruption. On the index's scale, zero is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
South Africa ranked slightly higher than the average score of 43 out of 100. The average score for Sub-Saharan countries is 33, making it the lowest-scoring global region.
Corruption Watch noted that the country improved its standing only marginally in the last decade.
The country scored between 42 and 45 consistently over the last decade, reaching its lowest in 2013 and highest in 2016.
In a statement, Corruption Watch said South Africa was one of many countries that stagnated in fighting corruption.
"There's not much to say about South Africa's showing in this year's [Corruption Perceptions Index]. We've said it all before in recent years because South Africa has produced yet another mediocre score – one that has not changed by more than three points in the last 10 years," the statement read.
"However, TI has found that the same applies to many countries. Stagnation is one of the key take-away points of the 2021 index."
The index found that human rights and democracy across the world were under assault.
"Corruption enables human rights abuses, setting off a vicious and escalating spiral. As rights and freedoms are eroded, democracy declines and authoritarianism takes its place, which in turn enables higher levels of corruption," the report read.
Corruption Watch's head of legal and investigations, Karam Singh, said South Africa "stagnated in terms of a courageous fight against corruption".
While corruption flourished under the previous administration with state capture, the new administration has had "a patchy record" in implementing reforms, Singh said.
According to Singh, reforms need to be implemented to guard government procurement against corruption and that investments need to be made in encouraging and protecting whistleblowers.
"There's so much more work to do. We need bolder initiatives, institutional alignment and more criminal prosecutions. The rhetoric needs to be matched in policy."
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