Huge increase in corruption, bribery in SA

Part of the crowd that marched to Pretoria’s Union Buildings against corruption Picture: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Part of the crowd that marched to Pretoria’s Union Buildings against corruption

South Africa is one of eight bribery and corruption hotspots on the continent, with a steep increase in incidents in the past 24 months‚ law firm ENSafrica’s 2016 anti-bribery and corruption survey has found.

The survey reveals a significant increase in incidents of bribery and corruption in Africa‚ with 79% of incidents reported in South Africa.

Of the survey’s 132 respondents, 80% are situated in South Africa. Most respondents came from the financial services‚ manufacturing‚ retail and wholesale sectors.

“The survey results show that 39% of respondents experienced incidents of bribery or corruption in the last 24 months‚ and highlight a marked increase in bribery and corruption in South Africa in particular‚” ENSafrica said.

Other countries on the hotspot list are Mozambique‚ with 12% of the reported incidents‚ Kenya with 9%‚ Namibia 7%‚ Ghana 7%‚ Tanzania 5%‚ the Democratic Republic of Congo with 5% and Uganda with 5%.

The survey’s key findings relating to perceived bribery and corruption risks found:

27% of respondents said they were highly exposed to bribery in Africa – up from 17% last year – while 57% said they were moderately exposed;

76% said “the use of third parties” posed a significant risk to their company – up from 68% last year and 65% in 2014;

52% said they were exposed to the risk of bribes and 48% to the facilitation of payments. The exposure of employing government officials or their relatives jumped from 8% last year to 21%.

ENSafrica’s head of forensics‚ Steven Powell‚ warned firms of the dangers of non-compliance with anti-bribery and corruption policies relating to the reporting of incidents.

“US regulators are monitoring the corruption landscape in Africa‚ as evidenced by the FBI’s arrest of the son [Samuel Mebiame] of a former Gabonese prime minister‚ for allegedly paying bribes on behalf of a US company in‚ among others‚ Zimbabwe‚ the Congo and Libya.”

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