South Africans think corruption increased during Ramaphosa’s first six months as president: Report

19 August 2019 - 07:56 By Unathi Nkanjeni
The police service is considered the most corrupt institution in South Africa.
The police service is considered the most corrupt institution in South Africa.
Image: bakhtiarzein / 123RF Stock Photo

Sixty-four percent of South Africans think corruption increased in the past 12 months.

This is according to the 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) Africa.

The survey, released on African Anti-Corruption Day in July by Transparency International, in partnership with Afrobarometer, was conducted between the end of July and September 2018, during President Cyril Ramaphosa’s first six months as president.

Of the 47,000 citizens surveyed in 35 African countries, more than half believed corruption was getting worse in their countries.

Seventy percent of South Africans believed the government was not doing enough to tackle corruption.

Corruption among public officials and in institutions

Concerns about the integrity of public officials and institutions remained high.

The police service was considered the most corrupt institution, with 49% of South Africans believing that most, or all, police officers were corrupt.

In the 2019 edition of the GCB for Africa, the police consistently exhibited the highest bribery rate in SA. Nineteen percent of respondents who had used police services reported having paid a bribe to police, compared with three percent in 2015.

Forty-four percent of South Africans also thought local government officials were highly corrupt, followed by government officials and MPs, both at 44%.

South Africans generally thought NGOs and religious leaders were less corrupt.

However, 30% of them were concerned about corruption in the NGO sector.

On a more positive note, 57% of South Africans believed ordinary people could make a difference in the fight against corruption.

In an interview on Radio 702, Corruption Watch’s David Lewis said the government needed to be seen to be acting against corruption.

“I think the people are saying that until we see prosecutions and convictions, we’re not going to be convinced that the government is doing enough.

“Indeed, they believe that their public institutions, including key oversight bodies like parliament and the law-enforcement agencies, notably the police, are among the most corrupt.”