The latest Economist has an article on corruption in South Africa. It makes for pretty frightening reading.
The article mentions several high profile cases of corruption: Zuma, Cwele, Selebi, etc.
There is also discussion of several other examples of corruption.
- 400,000 civil servants getting welfare payments to which they are not entitled
- 6,000 senior government officials who failed to declare business interests and are awaiting disciplinary hearings
- 423 prison officials disciplined for corruption; 26 criminally charged
- 923 corrupt officials from the ministry of public works have been ‘brought to book’
Corruption among those in power is a human condition. However, it seems that ANC officials are especially prone to corruption.
Even Gwede Mantashe, the ANC secretary-general, explains that too many “comrades” regard election to office as simply a chance to get rich.
The Economist also mentions that corruption in South Africa is exacerbated by “a culture of entitlement to compensate for past suffering under apartheid”.
In other words many in the ANC feel entitled to take their fill because of our history. As I have blogged in the past, a feeling of entitlement has been shown to make corruption significantly worse.
The ANC claims to be working on several corruption busting laws and measures including:
- Laws to facilitate swifter and reliable prosecution of corrupt officials
- A review of the ANC’s deployment policies which currently put people into jobs based on having the right connections instead of the right skills
- Tougher rules and more openness on the awarding of public contracts
- Better protection for whistle blowers who are often suspended for “poking their noses into smelly areas”