Brand South Africa notes South Africa’s performance in the 2019 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI), which indicates that the country’s corruption perceptions score remains quite stable at 43/100 in 2019.
Commenting on the report, Dr Petrus de Kock, General Manager for Research at Brand South Africa said: “At the time of conducting analysis of the Corruption Perceptions Index, the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is unearthing significant news regarding corrupt activities involving the private- and public sector. It is in this context therefore striking that South Africa’s corruption perceptions score remains quite stable at 43/100 in 2019. The score translates into a ranking of 73/180 nations measured through the CPI, the country’s ranking in 2017 was 71/180.”
Dr de Kock adds that while the ranking and score in the CPI remains stable, it is necessary to manage the reputational fall-out of revelations regarding corruption carefully.
“In this context it is necessary to indicate the extreme levels of transparency designed into the South African states’ governance system. For example, South Africa ranks 2/115 nations in the Open Budget Index, an indicator that clearly illustrates that the South African governance system is a world leader in terms of transparency and accountability within a constitutional democracy. It is necessary to reinforce this message on an ongoing basis to contextualise the reasons why revelations of unethical behaviour, and corruption, occur in the South African context,” said Dr de Kock.
In line with an element of public opinion in South Africa, the CPI also notes that ongoing commissions of inquiry is a step in the right direction to fight corruption. However, there is a need to move beyond commissions of inquiry towards the prosecution of those implicated in cases of corruption and/or state capture.
In terms of South Africa, the CPI notes that ‘under President Ramaphosa, the administration has taken additional steps to address anti-corruption on a national level, including through the work of the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee. Although the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) has been in place for years, the current government continues to build momentum for the strategy by soliciting public input.
Dr de Kock concludes: “From a Nation Brand reputation point of view it is important that commissions of inquiry are interrogating issues of state capture, and associated corrupt behaviour. However, as a nation we need to embrace the principles of transparency and accountability embedded in the nation’s constitution.”