The majority of South Africans believe corruption is getting worse, although a sizeable number thinks the economy will improve in the next 12 months, a survey has found.
The results came just before Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled his budget in parliament yesterday.
The South African Citizens Survey (Sacs) data from the fourth quarter of 2018 found 81% of South Africans believe the levels of corruption are increasing.
According to the report, more than 25% (9.1 million) of South African adults list corruption as the third-most important problem the country faces.
Unemployment occupied the No 1 spot and less than 47% believe the economy will improve in the next 12 months.
In his recent State of the Nation Address (Sona), President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated his promise that those involved in state graft would be charged and the money they stole recovered.
Mboweni yesterday announced funding for a corruption-busting unit within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), and budgets focusing on recommendations emanating from three commissions of inquiry.
The unit is to comprise members of various anti-corruption agencies.
There is hope that under the new national director of public prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, things will improve at the NPA.
Sacs found that trust in the NPA declined under former director Shaun Abrahams, but grew when Batohi was appointed.
Citizen Surveys’ strategic research director Reza Omar attributed the improvement to an awareness brought about by recent anti-corruption investigations.
“Just over 80% of South Africans perceive corruption to be getting worse … because more is being exposed.
“This exacerbates the level of despondency – with only 27% believing that we’re heading in the right direction,” Omar said.
“More decisive action is needed in order to re-establish trust in core democratic institutions.”