South Africa’s fight against corruption continues

South Africa's fight against corruption continues

27 January 2016

South Africa’s score of 44 on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released today by Transparency International (TI), remains unchanged from 2014, while the country’s ranking has shifted favourably from 67 to 61. It shows that perceptions of the extent of corruption in South Africa are stabilising.

A country’s score refers to the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of zero to 100, where zero means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 that a country is perceived as very clean.

A country’s rank indicates its position relative to the other countries included in the index, which numbered 168 in 2015.

By 2030, South Africa’s National Development Plan envisions zero tolerance for corruption, with anti-corruption agencies being well-resourced, and having skilled and experienced officials with the power to investigate and prosecute corruption.

CPI figures

South Africa ranked 61 out of 168 countries in the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index from Transparency International, released on 27 January 2016. (Image: Transparency International)

“The good news is that for the second year in succession, our score, as measured by the CPI, has remained the same and our ranking has improved slightly,” observed David Lewis, the executive director of Corruption Watch, TI’s local affiliate. “The bad news is that we are still ranked amongst those countries perceived to have a serious corruption problem, with our ranking perilously close to those countries suffering from endemic corruption.”

According to Corruption Watch, however, there is a way to move forward:

  • It is necessary to demonstrate that no-one is above the law.


  • There should be a focus on the criminal justice authorities, the police and the judiciary to function efficiently and demonstrate fairness.


CPI organisation perceptions

In the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index, the public perceived the military and religious organisations to be the least affected by corruption. (Image: Transparency International)

Regarding Africa, the report states:

“If corruption and impunity are to ‘be a thing of the past’ as stated by the African Union in Agenda 2063, The Africa We Want, governments need to take bold steps to ensure rule of law is the reality for everyone. Prosecuting corruption will restore faith among people who no longer believe in the institutions that are supposed to protect them. Transparency and accountability must go hand in hand when tackling corruption.”

How did the numbers come about?

The CPI is assembled from a compound of surveys conducted during the year by international organisations such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

According to Corruption Watch, the individuals who participated in the surveys were largely public and private sector leaders and academics.

The Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland and Sweden ranked as the top three countries with the least corruption, obtaining scores of 91, 90, and 89 respectively.

To read the full report, click here.

Source: Corruption Watch