NEARLY 80% of South Africans believe there is corruption in the senior levels of government, while 70% feel it is just as bad in the private sector, according to a survey by TNS South Africa.
The proportion of people who believe there is government corruption is slightly lower than the 85% recorded at the end of 2011, a figure largely unchanged since 1995.
Residents were surveyed in early August, before the massive government spending at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence was revealed, and before the latest departmental annual reports in parliament were discussed.
Departments that received qualified audit opinions include correctional services and justice, as well as Gauteng’s provincial health department.
The TNS study, which was conducted among 2,000 residents in eight major metro areas, found that 36% of people feel that the government is not reducing corruption levels, while 50% believe that it is.
There is no notable differences by race on the conviction that corruption exists in the government and the private sector, the survey found.
However, views differ when it comes to what the government is perceived to be doing about the problem.
According to the survey, 57% of blacks said government is working on reducing levels of corruption, compared with 42% of whites, 34% of Indians/Asians and 32% of coloureds.
The government’s reaction to corruption is seen as poorest in Cape Town and in the Eastern Cape, but better on the West Rand, TNS said.
* This article was first published in Sunday Times: Business Times
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