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South Africa's costly corruption saga

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 01:41

An anti-corruption march by thousands of South Africans has put the spotlight on a malaise that's cost billions to a struggling economy, while upping the pressure on President Jacob Zuma ahead of elections next year. David Pollard reports.

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The crime is clear. And so, say these protesters, should be the punishment. Corruption has lost South Africa around 40 billion dollars over the least 20 years. With one in four out of a job, it's high time workers got angry, says union leader Irvin Jim. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NUMSA GENERAL SECRETARY, IRVIN JIM, SAYING: "We are pursuing class struggle because class struggle is the only guarantee for change, is the only guarantee that can make sure that we defend gains and improve our condition." High-profile cases like Nkandla have stolen the headlines. A 23 million dollar state-funded upgrade to the presidential home putting Jacob Zuma under fire. His ruling ANC also embarrassed by accusations that officials paid millions in bribes to FIFA to secure the 2010 World Cup bid. Worse still for Zuma, corruption's become a hotter and hotter issue before local elections next year. Just when the economy is on the back burner. Growth shrank in the second quarter by 1.3 per cent. Amid a commodities slump - and with the rand at record lows - what investors want is certainty. CEBR economist, Vicky Pryce. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEBR CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "If there isn't an environment where the rule of law works, and there's respect of property rights etc and where they can trust the governments they're dealing with and the companies they're maybe investing in, then what we should be seeing in Africa, which is a very rapid future growth, will just not happen at the speed it should do." Zuma has warned that those issues are costing the ANC votes. The economic slowdown's also blunting his party's weapon of choice to bolster support. High government spending less and less an option as the slowdown hits tax revenues.

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South Africa's costly corruption saga

Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 01:41