Shocking bribery confessions from SA executives

Professional services firm, Ernst & Young says that as many as 10% of South Africa executives would pay a cash bribe in order secure work.

This revelation forms part of E&Y’s 13th global fraud survey, which the firm conducts biennially.

Sharon van Rooyen, director for fraud and investigation and dispute services at E&Y told CNBC Africa that 50 executives were surveyed anonymously in SA out of 2,700 executives from around the world.

She said that, alarmingly, the number of executives who have been offered a bribe is up from 2% in the prior report, two years ago.

“If you have a look at the statistics as well in terms of the respondents that were surveyed…if you look back, these are senior management in the C-Suite, 10% have been offered a bribe.”

“What concerns me most about this survey is that in the last survey, we asked ‘what about unethical practices…what would you do under trying circumstances’, and the cash payments was very low – 2%. It’s risen to 10% this time around,” van Rooyen told CNBC Africa.

C-Suite refers to a corporation’s most important senior executives, where their titles tend to start with the letter C, for chief, as in chief executive officer.

“It means you’re willing to give a cash payment in order to get work or something from another individual, government, or service provider – a contract – so you’re paying cash for that. Previously only 2% said ‘we would do it under trying circumstances’. That’s risen to 10% who would offer a bribe,” the E&Y executive said.

The report noted that 78% of South African executives believe there is a perception that bribery and corruption is widespread in this country, up from 67% before.

And perhaps unsurprisingly, only 20% of SA respondents said that bribery impacts their particular industry.

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Shocking bribery confessions from SA executives