New survey fingers public servants as most corrupt

New survey fingers public servants as most corrupt

A new survey has found that most South Africans who experienced corruption had contact with medical professionals, police officers, and teachers.


This is according to a study by Corruption Watch on the perception of corruption in South Africa.


The civil society organisation released a new report assessing the impact of corruption on people's lives on Wednesday. 


Campaign Coordinator at Corruption Watch, Mzwandile Banjathwa, says a debate is needed on the remuneration of public officials.


"We find that 46% of them have been in contact with medical professionals, be it doctors and nurses, and we also found that about 41% had contact with teachers, car licensing officials, police officers and so forth.”


He says most of those who were ultimately offered a bribe were law enforcement officers. 


"Those who have considered giving or offering a bribe or a gift, as they put it, were about 24%, and those gifts were to police officers. Those who gave to car licensing and traffic management officers were 23%, respectively.” 


Banjathwa says 65% of South Africans are sceptical about the efficacy of law enforcement. 


"The NPA is also not trusted; the SAPS, parliament, judiciary and the presidency, all of these institutions had low scores. So, most respondents found that they were quite neutral when it comes to civil society organisations, but the respondents had greater trust in various media outlets and religious and spiritual institutions. 


"They had a clear opinion that establishments primarily prioritise issues that are concerning affluent individuals and neglecting the interest of ordinary South Africans. So in terms of addressing corruption, we find that respondents had less trust in appointed and elected officials.”


Banjathwa believes there are clear steps which can be taken to curb corruption. 


"Strengthening the legal framework that we have, strengthening ethics and values, making sure there is financial transparency and also procurement.”


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