South Africa stagnates in fight against corruption – Transparency International – Archyde

Transparency International, a global movement working to rid businesses, governments, civil society and ordinary people of corruption, released its annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report on Tuesday. The CPI measures the level of perceived corruption in the public sector of 180 countries.

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“Two years after the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows that corruption levels are stagnating around the world. Despite written commitments, 131 countries have not made significant progress on fighting corruption over the past decade, and this year 27 countries hit historic lows in their CPI score. Meanwhile, human rights and democracy are under attack around the world,” the report said.

See CPI Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report here.

It states that South Africa is among the 131 countries that have stagnated in the ranking over the past 10 years, along with countries such as Tunisia, Ghana, Hungary, Kuwait and Senegal, scoring 44 on a scale of 0 to 100. At the top of the scale (in the 80s) are Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland, with Somalia and Syria at the bottom at 11 and 13.

Corruption Transparency South Africa

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Corruption Transparency South Africa

How some African countries perform in Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index report. South Africa comes in at 44. (Source: Transparency International)

Karam Singh, executive director of civil society organization Corruption Watch, said: “It is extremely disheartening to find ourselves in the same position on the CPI year after year, with slight shifts up or down.

“The poor perception of how South Africa is faring in its efforts to really address and dismantle the systems that allow corruption is perhaps to be expected given the staggering levels of corruption we have witnessed.

“As a civil society organization working tirelessly to uncover the loopholes that allow corruption and find solutions to create a society free from this scourge, we can only hope that recent developments to end corruption in the Bringing the country to the fore will quickly and effectively end law enforcement and restoring public confidence in the political will to end impunity and lack of accountability.”

Legal researcher Mashudu Masutha, who represents Defend our Democracy, hosted one last month Anti-Corruption Week campaign, told Maverick citizen: “Improving South Africa’s performance in the CPI will require the political will of the country’s politicians.

„[This] requires a change in attitude towards anti-corruption commitments that South Africa has already signed, things like the Degas [UN General Assembly Special Session], which was a political statement to mobilize transparency efforts for government procurement and also to engage at the national level in anti-corruption policies.

“There must be guaranteed media independence, the rule of law, the judiciary and the support of regulators that provide institutional controls and counterbalances.”

The report finds that countries that have strong safeguards against violations of human, civil and political rights generally protect well against corruption.

Sub-Saharan Africa scored 33 out of 100, indicating the urgent need for countries to mitigate the devastation caused by corruption, according to the report.

Hennie van Vuuren, Chief Executive of Open Secrets said: “We need to monitor corruption trends in South Africa and they are clearly of concern as we see them at all levels of government. Local government is the most obvious, but the ongoing problems of high-level corruption plaguing the state and private sector are also fairly central, and the trend is not positive.

“But you can also add that there is a problem with this Corruption Perceptions Index, where the more we repeat something, the more we legitimize what is actually an erroneous measure of corruption around the world. This is primarily the perception of so-called experts and business people… the majority are from the Global North.

“Now this year we see that Africa is the worst on the list. We have a systemic corruption problem on the continent, but we have a systemic corruption problem around the world.”

Van Vuuren pointed out that Denmark, which is in the top 10 countries, was involved in “the biggest money laundering scam we’ve ever seen” just four years ago, when the country’s largest bank, Danish bank, was found guilty of money laundering of over 200 billion euros (around 4 trillion rand).

Van Vuuren said that of the other top 10 countries, Singapore is a tax haven and is used for “offshoring,” while Switzerland “has built its fortunes on a criminal economy by moving illicit assets around the world.”

He said that the use of such corruption measures “just keeps acquitting the wealthy countries that are complicit in the corruption system around the world…we can fix South Africa, whatever that means, but unless global financial systems change in a more equitable way, rather, we will only ever tinker with the edges.” DM/MC

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