South Africa Country Profile

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A Snapshot of Corruption in South Africa

The South Africa country profile provides a detailed analysis of the country's current corruption situation, but does also dig into South Africa’s challenges and the effects of these on its business climate throughout its chapters devoted to Business and Corruption and the country's Regulatory Environment in the General Information section. The government has aimed at containing corruption throughout several initiatives and efforts, for instance:

  • Compared to the Sub-Saharan regional average, companies in South Africa encounter simpler and less costly import/export procedures, simpler procedures related to starting and closing a company, and smoother interactions with tax officials.
  • Dispute settlement and enforcement of commercial contracts is relatively easy and not as costly as in other countries in the region, which also reflects that companies operating in South Africa have greater confidence in the integrity of the judicial system.
However, the government still faces challenges in curbing this phenomenon, challenges include:
  • Although the regulatory environment in South Africa is continuously being improved, some public services are still characterised by high levels of red tape - much to the disadvantage of companies.
  • According to observers, corruption is rife in the granting of government contracts. Bribery thrives at the central government level, as exemplified by the high-profile procurement scandals that have been exposed within the last decade. Many companies also cite the procurement of goods for private companies as an activity likely to involve bribery.
  • The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) strategy, aiming at increasing the participation of black citizens in the economy, has been criticised for providing too much preferential treatment to wealthy black elites in relation to receiving government contracts, and for leading to increased procurement corruption.

An extensive description of the levels of corruption within South Africa’s institutions and sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. To counter these challenges the government has a robust anti-corruption regulatory framework. Nevertheless, the enforcement of the law is inadequate. For a more detailed analysis of the South African government and civil society achievements in the fight against corruption visit the Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives chapters.

South Africa Corruption News

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Publication date: September 2013

Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions