Corruption Perceptions Index: Where SA Ranks In World’s Most/ Least Corrupt Countries


Talking about Corruption in SA, a new list from Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index has listed South Africa as one of the most corrupt countries in the world for 2016.

Releasing its annual Corruption Perceptions Index on Wednesday, the group applauded some countries’ efforts at fight corruption while it reprimanded others who are indifferent about the situation in their system.

According to the index by Transparency international, over two-thirds of the 176 countries and territories in this year’s index fell below the midpoint of the scale of 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), even as the global average score is placed at 43, indicating endemic corruption in the public sector.

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African countries like Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe were lauded for improving their fights against corruption. Corruption Perceptions Index indicated that both countries were at their best in dealing with the mayhem as was evident in their 2016 presidential elections.

The 2016 election in Cape Verde which saw Jorge Carlos Fonseca re-elected, is a good example because it was held in a framework of a continuously improving integrity system, says the organisation’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

The São Tomé and Príncipe elections held in July 2016 led to a smooth change of government, which is increasingly a challenge in the African region.

No country, however, received a “perfect” score in 2016 with Denmark and New Zealand tied as the two least corrupt countries in the world, while Somalia and South Sudan made up the two most corrupt countries.

Interestingly, top African countries who are largely regarded as models for stability in the African region, recorded a huge decline in their fights against corruption.

According to Corruption Perceptions Index, countries like Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya have significantly declined with South Africa ranking 64 out of the 176 countries with a corruption rating of 45/100 – an increase over 2015’s 44/100.

This, however, indicates a slight decline in the level of corruption in the country after posting a record low of 42/100 in 2012.

The group made reference to President Jacob Zuma’s court case where he was all over the media for corruption scandals which include his own appeal against findings in a report by the Public Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela, regarding undue spending of public funds on his private homestead at Nkandla, and the controversial state capture report revealing his link with the country’ most influential family – the Guptas.

These, the group said, spearheaded the rising effect of corruption in the country, aiding the country’s economic challenge and causing troubles in the country’s politics.

Though the index noted that South Africa had worryingly stagnated over the past couple of years and, despite hosting a successful election in 2016, showed few signs of improving.

“Lower-ranked countries are plagued by untrustworthy and badly functioning public institutions like the police and judiciary,” the report said, pointing out that even where anti-corruption laws are in place, in practice they’re often ignored.

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People frequently face situations of bribery and extortion, rely on basic services that have been undermined by the misappropriation of funds, and confront official indifference when seeking redress from authorities that are on the take.

The Top 10 Least Corrupt Countries Include:

  • Denmark
  • New Zealand
  • Finland
  •  Sweden
  •  Switzerland
  • Norway
  •  Singapore
  • Netherlands
  • Canada
  •  Germany
  • Luxembourg
  • United Kingdom (With Germany, Luxembourg, and UK taking the 10th position)

Top Most Corrupt Countries Include:

  • Venezuela
  •  Guinea-Bissau
  •  Afghanistan
  • Libya
  • Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Syria
  • Korea (North)
  • South Sudan
  • Somalia

The President, Jacob Zuma, however, assured South Africans that his government, alongside the ruling African National Congress (ANC) are at their best in dealing with corruption.

Citing a number of contracts worth R755m which were also canceled following cases of corruption, President Jacob Zuma said he was committed to doing even more to defeat the scourge of corruption.