South Africa is a country hit with a string of corruption allegations; the most recent involving funds meant to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many, South Africa has become a tarnished brand as scandals are reported in both the public and private sectors.
COVID-19 tender corruption and its impact on South Africa as a brand:
At a car wash, concerned young minds are conscious of the country’s state of affairs. Among them is car wash owner, 32-year-old Trevor Mochaki.
By midday, he calls for a break. It is time to keep abreast with news developments. Mochaki and his employees live in a country fighting two pandemics: COVID-19 and corruption.
Mochaki feels disillusioned. “It’s been tarnished; corruption, R500 billion, PPE tenders. We need to inform people about what’s going on because we pay tax. We’re hearing stories that people have been doing the wrong things, but we’re not getting the end results.”
Taxpayers are unimpressed and demand accountability.
“Currently, to be a South African, it’s not interesting anymore. This corruption has impacted everything negatively,” says Tembisa resident, Mokgethi Maleka.
“They always give us this false hope. Everyone is hungry, and the people are eating money,” says another resident Devotion Msibi.
Experts say the country is in a downward spiral and its reputation in tatters.
“We have got an exceptionally strong brand worldwide. We, as a country, are highly respected because we’ve made the right moves over the years. But in the last five years, we have dramatically shifted,” says founder and CEO of Authentic, Janine Hills.
Thebe Ikalafeng, Brand and Reputation expert, says this is all disappointing.
“It’s quite disappointing because we are already in the middle of the commission of inquiry with the state capture, which is one of the darkest patches of the country which credit a negative image of the country.”
The commission requires holding those implicated accountable.
Hills says South Africa is known for talking but is bad at implementation. “We are very well known for talking the talk. What we’re very bad at doing is implementing. We now want to live a good, clean life based on integrity, and we need our government to work with us. Please.”
Ikalefeng has made a call for swift movement in the latest PPE tender corruption.
“The ministerial committees looking into this, I don’t think that sends the right message; I think we know who the culprits are.”
Many have called for those implicated to be locked up.
Allegations of fraud and corruption tarnishing the South African brand:
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