The misuse of public funds by government officials through the years continues to destabilise national integrity and cost the country billions of Rands in unaccounted money. The problem with corruption in South Africa is that it is so far reaching that it is almost impossible never to encounter. How exactly does this form of crime really affect you? Find out below.
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1) What Is Corruption?
It is when individuals in power attain an unfair advantage in acquiring national resources, and use it for personal gains.
Forms Of corruption
• When individuals or businesses offer and pay bribes to specific government officials to receive licenses or municipal/ national tenders.
• When law enforcement receives bribes, or requests bribes from civilians to evade penalties from the law.
• When government owned cars, buildings, and goods are used for personal purposes.
• If a politician or a person in power is nepotistic and abuses his or her power to award undeservedly access to public resources and opportunities family or friends.
2) Whom Does It Affect?
Corruption affects the poor and the rich, employed and unemployed, basically corruption affects everybody. The nation’s economic stability is put at risk as corruption stunts growth and devalues the ideals that should be adhered to, in order to properly run a functioning country.
While those that benefit from corruption live lavished and privileged lives, the poor most suffer the effects of corruption. Because resources are kept away from the poor who are heavily reliant on government to assist them, they bear the biggest brunt of misappropriated funds in the country.
3) What Are The Effects Of Corruption?
• It affects foreign investment, as investors grow weary of policies in the country.
• It delays development such as infrastructure, education, and housing due to mismanagement.
• It is costly, as people will feel compelled to operate by giving bribes to receive licences, business documents, paying off fines etc.
• Corruption more than anything deprives South Africans of rights that are meant to help and protect them.
4) How To Combat It
We know that the problem stems from the highest level, but even those that may not be in positions of power need to make an effort to be honest and fight corruption. Although it seems we see many of our politicians and businesspeople get away with committing these crimes, we have to continue to stand for what is right and just, to make sure that we live in a fair and transparent country with the opportunity to experience the most it can offer.
We do not want corruption, and to make sure that this culture of apathy and exploitation acceptance does not continue, we need to be the change we want to see happen to help make South Africa a better place.
Written by Busi Nhlapo