Is South Africa too corrupt?
The Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index for 2014 ranked South Africa 44 out of 100, where zero indicates a perception that a country is highly corrupt and 100 having no corruption at all.
Of the 175 countries scored on the index, South Africa ranked 67th.
There was no country which scored 100 out 100 on the index. However, Finland topped the ranking with a score of 92 out of 100.
Crime in South Africa
According to the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) Global Economic Crime Survey of 2014, 69% of South African respondents indicated that they had experienced economic crime, which is nine percentage points higher than in 2011.
PWC highlighted that this has raised serious and valid concerns about the country’s standing, with some key South African institutions already showing characteristics of endemic corruption, which means that little can be done to turn around the rot.
The aim of the PWC report “is to inform South African business leaders about developments in the continuously changing landscape of economic crime in our country and to encourage debate around strategic and emerging issues in this sphere,” said Louis Strydom, the leader of the National Forensic Services.
Main perpetrators of corruption
The PWC report also shows that senior management is the main perpetrator of economic crimes committed by insiders.
The PWC survey also goes on to report that South African organisations suffer significantly more procurement fraud, human resources fraud, bribery and financial statement fraud than organisations globally.
According to the survey, bribery and corruption is the fastest growing economic crime in South Africa since 2011.
“In the current tough economic environment, fraudsters are becoming ever more creative and syndicates are also at play, which means companies are facing ever increasing risk from white collar crimes,” said Alicia Goosen, Business Unit Head for Financial Services Group at Aon South Africa.
These crimes are mainly in areas such as credit payments, EFT transfers, debtors, petty cash abuse, cash theft, international transfers, payroll fraud (ghost employees) and stock theft.
Featured How to protect yourself from financial fraud
Financial fraud is prevalent in South Africa, as it is globally. According to the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), cybercrime, in particular, is becoming even more common than ‘traditional’ bank crimes. In 2019, some R284.4 million was stolen via digital means, an 8% increase from 2018, while credit card fraud accounted for R37.2 million.
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