- Monday saw the release of the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, ranking countries according to perceived levels of corruption
- The index pointed out the somewhat obvious - corruption is on the increase in South Africa
- South Africa ranked below neighbouring Botswana and Namibia as well as Rwanda
The recently released 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index confirmed what South Africa's worst suspicious - corruption is on the rise.
Of the sub-Saharan African nations, SA ranked 9th place, an indication that perceptions of corruption remained high.
The index is complied by Transparency International and rates 180 countries and territories by the level of public sector corruption that is perceived. The index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 100 is extremely clean and 0 is highly corrupt.
For the 2018 period, the index found that the number of countries scoring under 50 constituted more than two-thirds, with an average rating of 43.
The score for South Africa dropped down from 45 (2017) to 43 for the past year.
Seychelles enjoyed a ranking of 28th worldwide, with a score of 66 (the highest in the region) followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, Rwanda, Namibia, Mauritius, Principe, and Senegal.
Out of the 180 countries and territories surveyed, South Africa came in 73rd.
Transparency International revealed that sub-Saharan Africa remained the worst performing region, adding that governments had failed to implement anti-corruption commitments to achieve any real progress:
A region with stark political and socio-economic contrasts and long-standing challenges, many of its countries struggle with ineffective institutions and weak democratic values, which threaten anti-corruption efforts.
The organisation revealed that, despite stagnation in the region, there had been a few promising political developments in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Kenya and Nigeria:
In South Africa, citizen engagement and various official inquiries into official abuses are positive steps, while new leadership in Angola provides hope for anti-corruption reforms.
Executive Director of Corruption Watch, David Lewis, commented that SA's experience of state capture was a textbook example of the co-relation between corruption and the undermining of democracy:
For example, we have seen how in order to loot public funds, the perpetrators have had to undermine those key pillars of democracy that are responsible for holding those in power to account.
However, according to Lewis, civil society organisations, the media, and the courts have all played critical roles in the fight against state capture.
According to TimesLIVE, countries like Seychelles and Botswana both enjoyed relatively well-functioning democratic and governance systems. These systems have naturally contributed to their healthy spot on the index.
Corruption Watch commented that the country already possessed many of these characteristics, as well as an independent media and provision for civil society, yet had not enjoyed an improvement in score:
Once again, one would have to point to the persistent failure of our criminal justice institutions to impose consequences upon corrupt individuals.
Briefly.co.za recently reported how the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, has threatened to organise a tax revolt should those implicated in state capture by the Zondo Commission not be prosecuted in due course.
One can be forgiven for assuming that Zille is just as wary of the continuous corruption plighting South Africa.
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!