South Africa has been named amongst the eight worst corruption hotspots on the African continent, in a survey conducted by law firm ENSafrica. The findings placed the country 7th in terms of corruption and bribery across the continent, although it also highlighted an increase in anti-bribery compliance awareness amongst those surveyed by the company.
Other countries listed as part of the top eight include Angola, the DRC, Ghana, Kenya Mozambique, Nigeria and Uganda.
The survey was conducted amongst the clientele of ENSafrica, which compromise organisations from both the corporate and government sectors, as well as state owned enterprises and parastatals.
“I think one can expect that corruption lays both ways, and it is generally from the private sector towards the state,” highlighted Dave Loxton, director of ENSafrica’s forensics department.
Whilst governments tends to bear the brunt of criticism over incidents of corruption, Loxton said equal blame need fall on the shoulders of businesses. On a local front, he noted that government were passing legislation on a bid to address corruption within the private sector towards government entities.
“Corporate South Africa needs to hold a spotlight on itself, and question what they doing to stamp out corruption, and can they do more,” he said.
Despite the criticism, Loxton said many companies were now heeding the warnings against corruption and bribery, to great effect. He highlighted an increase in awareness amongst businesses as to the risks they were facing; with many opting to implement measures to actively manage those risks.
“There is enough anecdotal evidence to show that there are many corporates that make that stand and still do business.
The cost of doing business definitely goes through the roof when you are paying bribes, because money is being syphoned off on the side. It is certainly an added cost of doing business, and also a risky one if a regulator comes after you,” he explained. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)