South Africa has reached a virtual standstill in its efforts to fight corruption in the past decade, the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) reported on Wednesday.
The CPI, the leading global indicator of public sector corruption, ranked 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
In 2012, South Africa scored 43, ranking 69 out of 176 countries that were assessed that year. And 10 years later in 2022, the country is sitting at 44, the same as last year – dropping one place in rank to 70 out of the 180 countries, according to the report.
South Africa’s highest score over the past decade was 45 on the 2016 CPI, while the lowest score was 42 on the 2013 index, the report said.
The CPI said this year’s analysis showed that 86 percent of countries have made little to no progress in the last 10 years, a concerning trend.
The CPI global average remained unchanged at 43 for the 10th year in a row, and two-thirds of countries scored below 50, it added.
South Africa ranked alongside Jamaica and Tunisia on the index, and came in at number eight on the regional table of Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries.
Brian Mhlongo, programme coordinator of the Democracy Development Programme – a civil society organisation – warned that South Africa would regress further until action was taken against those found guilty of corruption.
“It’s quite expected – if you look at the amount of corruption in the public eye in the past ten years. I think South African institutions’ response to corruption has not been sufficient to warrant that we move up the index,” Mhlongo said.