n Journal of Public Administration - The [in]effectiveness of anti-corruption programmes in addressing public sector corruption : a corporative governance perspective

Volume 48, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The new democratic dispensation brought about a realisation of the levels of corruption within the public service. Corruption is an indicator of a defective system of public accountability which involves subversion of public interest for personal gains. An ability to deal with corruption manifests itself in a two-fold paraphnelia. It encompasses understanding the causes of corruption on the one hand and the calculated responses in countering corruption on the other. Although corruption may have been rampant even before the first democratic elections in 1994, a call for accountability and transparency which became synonymous with democracy removed a dark veil which covered unbecoming actions of public servants mainly in the democratic South Africa. Due to manifestation of these corrupt activities and a desire for clean governance, the government of South Africa immediately developed various mechanisms aimed at dealing with the problem of public sector corruption. This was also as a result of the acknowledgement that the incidents of corruption, characterised by colossal thefts, embezzlements and rampant bribery are capable of eroding the fabric upon which the South Africa's economy is built. Although this article acknowledges the presence of corruption during the apartheid era, its crux is mainly on whether the programmes employed after democratisation in South Africa proved adequate in turning the tide against the scourge of corruption. The aim of this article is therefore to establish whether the anti-corruption programme employed by the South African government encapsulate the internationally accepted elements reminiscent of an anti-corruption programmes worldwide and whether this strategy is effective enough to thwart public corruption. These elements are inter-alia: measurement of public perceptions, creation of public awareness, disincentivising corruption, visible sanctions, bureaucratic reform and most importantly, the political will in dealing with public corruption.

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