NATIONAL NEWS - The South African youth view the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the local government sphere as the most corrupt institutions in the country.
This is one of the conclusions of a report released by Corruption Watch, which highlights the devastating impact of corruption on the lives of young people in South Africa and how their prospects have been affected by the pervasiveness of corruption in the country.
Corruption Watch released the report on 9 December, which is International Anti-Corruption Day.
The report also concluded:
- that young South Africans understood what corruption was and the effect it had on society;
- that they perceived unemployment, abuse of power, greed and low or no income as the major drivers of corruption;
- that a significant number of young people were willing to pay a bribe to secure employment;
- that there was evidence of people being asked for sexual favours in exchange for employment;
- that young people generally did not trust politicians and big business and;
- that young people think corruption has worsened
Corruption Watch said the report, titled Our Future is Not For Sale, drew attention to the behaviour and attitudes of young people towards corruption and its normalisation, “which has the potential for the youth to become not only victims but perpetrators of corruption too”.
“Corruption Watch commissioned this study in mid-2020, reviewing the attitudes of a weighted and representative sample of 1500 respondents between the ages of 18 and 35 . The responses, as reflected in the findings, indicate that young people perceive the main drivers of corruption to be unemployment, abuse of power, greed, and low or no income,” the organisation said.
Head of stakeholder relations and campaigns at Corruption Watch, Kavisha Pillay, said: “It is not surprising that there is a feeling of distrust and frustration amongst the youth in South Africa.
“When one considers the unaddressed and ongoing inequality, along with the exclusionary economic policies that continue to obstruct social, political, and economic transformation in the country, it is no wonder that young people feel disempowered and concerned about their future.”
The organisation said responses to the survey, conducted during South Africa’s nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19, reflected the manifestation of corruption in the flouting of processes intended to address the pandemic.
“From the sample, 83% of respondents stated that there was an unfair distribution of food parcels, while 49% believed that a person had to be a member of a particular political party to receive a food parcel. In addition, 48% of participants noted that the police were abusing their powers and harassing the public during lockdown.”
The organisation said its study emphasizes the important role young people can play in addressing corruption.
“It is therefore incumbent on all young people, indeed the whole of society, to promote transparency and accountability by blowing the whistle on corruption, if the country is to turn itself around.”