n Ubuntu : Journal of Conflict and Social Transformation - The utility of moral philosophy and professional ethics in the fight against corruption in South Africa : any role for Ubuntu?

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2078-760X
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4950


This paper derives its motivation from the longitudinal attitude survey conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council in 2011 and Transparency International between 2011 and 2013, which highlights how corruption has been on the increase in South Africa. Consequently, the paper interrogates the possible role which Ubuntu can play as an anti-corruption mechanism in South Africa, and argues the need for its adequate reinvigoration at the 'systemic level' to complement the vigour with which it has been touted at 'agency level'. We argue that while government employees are being encouraged to uphold the values of Ubuntu in governance, the lack of accountability and transparency in government circles do not ensure adherence to such high moral standards. This asymmetry inevitably prevents the moral philosophy of Ubuntu from making a contribution as an anti-corruption stratagem.

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