Corruption and fraud perception in S.Africa grows - CNBC Africa

Corruption and fraud perception in S.Africa grows

Southern Africa

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78% of South Africans believe that bribery and corruption is widespread in the country. PHOTO: Getty Images

According to Ernst and Young’s 13th global fraud survey, despite the apparent global consensus that there is a significant threat posed by cybercrime, almost half of the respondents in the survey considered it to represent a very or fairly  low risk.

“The reason that we do this survey, and we do it every two years, is basically to get a sense of what the country is feeling in terms of bribery, fraud and corruption, what are the topical issues and basically what organisations are doing about it. [And] also hopefully give some pointers on how they can actually address and mitigate these risks,” Sharon Van Rooyen, director for fraud and investigation and dispute services at Ernst & Young in Johannesburg, told CNBC Africa.

According to the survey, 78 per cent of South Africans say that there’s a perception that bribery and corruption is widespread in the country. Two years ago, which was the last time the survey had been done, only 67 per cent had the same perception.

(READ MORE: Corruption taints S.Africa's business community)


“If you take a step back to when the survey was conducted, [which]was conducted in November to  February of this year, if you think about what was going on in the press, it could be public or private sector [issues], the cartels, Competition Commission,” Van Rooyen explained.

“I also think most organisations are a lot more aware of what bribery and corruption is, so obviously they’ve got a better perception or better understanding of what it would entail.”

Out of the 2,700 executives interviewed around the world, 50 were from South Africa. Van Rooyen added that of the South African executives, only 20 per cent of them believed that bribery impacted their particular industry.

(READ MORE: Corruption a devastating evil in Africa -Murinde)

“I think there’s a bit of a perception gap between what is happening in their industry and what is happening in the country. You also need to take into consideration what you see in the media, both in public and private sectors and obviously that perception creates [the executives’] reality,” Van Rooyen explained.