n Journal of Public Administration - Corruption in South Africa with particular reference to public sector institutions : the evil of all evils

Special issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The high prevalence of corruption, especially within African states, is based on the assumption that the continued prevalence of traditional moral values within African societies is a key enabler of corrupt behaviour. Whereas Western public administrations are marked by strict separation between the private interests and public responsibilities of officials, this is not the case in what have been termed 'neo-patrimonial' states within Africa. In these states the receipt of gifts and payments by officials is deemed to be culturally acceptable. Government and organized politics are characterized by extensive patron-client networks and widespread nepotism. One needs, however, to move beyond debates about whether traditional African culture inadvertently lends itself to corruption, and focus on mechanisms to minimize or prevent these activities from taking place. In this article the causes of corruption will be investigated as well as the impact thereof on the South African public. The measures that the South African government undertake to combat corruption will be discussed and recommendations will be made to optimize these arrangements to develop an integrated strategy against corruption.

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