Government’s constant assurance that it’s tackling public sector corruption is all bark and no bite, if the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index 2015 is to believed.

According to the annual index, which is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption in over 160 countries, although South Africa ranked 61st overall, it’s slipped down the ranking from 43rd in 2012, 72nd in 2013 and 67th in 2014.

Though it may look like there was a significant change in rankings, the 2014 index lists 175 countries, while the 2015 version cuts it down a bit to 168. Also the score over 100 given to South Africa, remained the same for both years at 44.

Screenshot (736)

Denmark took the top spot for the second year in a row, while North Korea and Somalia were again the worst performers, placing at the very bottom. apparentlyBotswana is still the highest ranking African country at 28th overall.

Among the key characteristics that help the perception of corruption among top ranking countries are: high levels of press freedom, public access to budget information, high levels of integrity among people in power and judiciaries that don’t differentiate between rich and poor.

“Forty out of the region’s 46 countries show a serious corruption problem and there’s no improvement for continent powerhouses Nigeria and South Africa,” commented Chantal Uwimana, Director for Transparency International Sub-Saharan Africa.

“If corruption and impunity are to ‘be a thing of the past’ as the African Union stated, governments need to take bold steps to ensure rule of law is the reality for everyone,” Uwimana added.

“Prosecuting corruption will restore faith among people who no longer believe in the institutions that are supposed to protect them. Transparency and accountability must go hand in hand when tackling corruption – as these results show, this is still far from the norm in Africa,” she said.

[Source – Transparency International, image – CC Christopher Dombres]