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Justice Minister Jeff Radebe’s announcement that the “rotten apples” in our public service will be named and shamed is likely to be well received by the public these individuals are meant to be serving. He announced: “In the next few days we will be publishing the names of people who have been convicted in cases of corruption and all those whose assets have either been frozen or have been forfeited to the state”.

This is certainly a good starting point as futurefact finds that the majority of South Africans believe that corruption has become so pervasive in our society that they have “lost hope about stopping it”.

But, the State’s net should be broadened from self-serving and corrupt public servants who award tenders to friends and family members to include politicians and government and state officials. Eight out of ten South Africans no longer trust politicians to the extent that they would like “politicians’ personal finances and dealings to be monitored”.

Almost three quarters of South Africans and particularly city dwellers and those aged 25 years or more, felt that: “Government or state officials found guilty of corruption or crime should never be allowed to hold office again” – a probable response to the policy of suspending those under investigation under full pay or redeploying them.

On a personal level, 65% of South Africans say that they refuse to pay bribes under any circumstance and a similar proportion believe it is also their duty to report corrupt officials or people wanting bribes. Practically 7 in 10 believe it is the responsibility of the media to expose corruption.

So, what should we do with corrupt politicians and officials (other than name and shame them)? Well a novel solution endorsed by just over half of us is that: “We should re-open Robben Island as a jail for corrupt government officials”!

futurefact has been surveying the attitudes and beliefs of South Africans since 1998. The findings presented above are from futurefact 2012 which is based on a probability sample of 2,946 adults aged 15 years and over living in communities of more than 500 people throughout South Africa and representing 21.6 million adults.

If you would like to find out more about futurefact and its extensive attitudinal databases please contact Jos Kuper 082 904 9939 or check out www.futurefact.co.za