R675bn lost to graft since 1994 - expert

2012-09-05 09:59

Cape Town - It seems as though South Africa could be losing the fight against corruption.

Paul Hoffman, director of the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa, has warned that the estimated R675bn lost to corruption since 1994 could be just the beginning.

Hoffman said this in a presentation on the impact of corruption and inequality at the Towards Carnegie 3 conference at the University of Cape Town, Die Burger newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Hoffman based the figure of R675bn on government's admission that the economy loses R30bn per year to corrupt activities.

The disclosure elicited visible shock among conference goers. Some spoke of a war between values enshrined in the constitution and those set out in the ANC's national democratic revolution.

Questioned over losses to corruption which cannot be measured in money, such as government credibility in the eyes of the public, he affirmed the relevance of this type of damage.  

Hoffman said the energy that goes into covering up corruption in for example the arms deal creates "permanent structural damage" to the country. "The R675bn is just the beginning," Die Burger quoted him as saying.

According to Hoffman, the government's efforts to stop corruption are not only insufficient but also trip up its ability to finance social welfare, which could be used to alleviate poverty.

If tender fraud and corruption could be eradicated, that would already make an extra R30bn available for social upliftment, said Hoffman.

He also said clean civil service governance could act as a buffer against corruption if conducted according to the values set out in the constitution, but these values are practically dead.

Instead, there is cadre deployment "which is not only illegal but unsustainable".

Cadre deployment automatically leads to a conflict of interest, as cadres hang on to their jobs at any cost, said Hoffman.

 - Fin24

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  • mlucejko - 2012-09-05 10:09

    This is the result of the ANC's idea of democracy !!

      charlesdumbwin.dumbwin - 2012-09-05 10:15

      Someone needs to climb on this bandwagon and publish this information to the masses across South Africa. Show them just how much of their 'upliftment' money, is being stolen by through ANC corruption.

      michael.lockett.102 - 2012-09-05 10:33

      R675b = 13.5m RDP houses

      mark.singh.9889 - 2012-09-05 10:43

      @ Charles, sadly this information is widely known amongst the masses but they have developed this ostrich mentality and would rather hide their head in the sand. They believe that their beloved ANC can do no wrong and that there is also no alternative to vote for.

      gary.guy.507 - 2012-09-05 10:50

      @Charles - unfortunately our voters are too stupid to see this no matter how it is presented to them. In fact, I think many of them know already but are happy with it, either in the mistaken belief that, like the tribal chief, they are 'entitled' to whatever they want; or, maybe hopeful that they one day could be on that gravy train.

      gordon.trevat - 2012-09-05 11:09

      A question. The ANC Party is voted into power. They then appoint various people. They also have various investment companies with significant cash. Considering the ANC Party appoints the various members to Government, surely the ANC Party could be held accountable to pay back the funds stolen by it's appointed members?

      koos.meyer.52 - 2012-09-05 11:29

      Well done ANC, brilliant stuff indeed. As long as nobody (read: brain-dead ANC supporters)hold the ANC to account this will continue.

      jacques.otto.50 - 2012-09-05 12:07

      At R100,000 for a low cost house that is 6.7 million houses which could have wipe out the housing issue in this country. It could have funded 3400 square kilometers of land redistribution ensuring 50% black ownership. If invested behind factory and production it could have wiped out 25% unemployement with actual growth for the future. It could have funded 4.7 million medical (Doctor)degree studies. Or 80 world cup soccer events. Actualy if you just gave the money to the people it could have created 675000 new millionares in SA. Instead we gave it to about 50 BEE guys sharing it with their goverment buddies

      Willie - 2012-09-05 12:26

      We need a total overhaul

      fussed.anderson - 2012-09-05 12:52

      Can the south african public bring a class action suit against the anc gov??????????? for theft.

      arthur.adams.988 - 2012-09-05 12:52

      95% of this money went to whites. These corrupt officials spend the money on luxury products sold by white own companies e.g. who own most of the luxury motor dealerships in this country who owned most of these mansions these guys buy? So if you work or own these companies you are as corrupt as the guy that buys a bottle Johnny Green from your store.

      clive.wannenburg - 2012-09-05 12:59

      That is over 300 million per month since '94, mind blowing and we the poeple are still to foot the bill and clean up the mess?

      alan.jerrold - 2012-09-05 14:34

      @Arthur Adams, please don't talk cr*p. Let's just go over it slowly: the ANC is about 98% Black. They have wasted R675 billion rands since 1994. But 95% of this money went to Whites? With this kind of (non)thinking, I must assume you are an ANC supporter.

  • johana.salivan - 2012-09-05 10:09

    Why is everyone downplaying massive theft by ANC? This money is not lost, it is STOLEN by ANC.

  • nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-05 10:13

    Just imagine what you could do with R 675 000 000 000. But no, the fat useless retarded ANC pricks are too greedy and just become more corrupt by the day. I wonder what Tutu will have to say about this...

  • lemohang - 2012-09-05 10:14

    Is there a number of how much corruption there was pre 1994

      johana.salivan - 2012-09-05 10:16

      Good question, would be nice to compare.

      nicolaas.geldenhuys - 2012-09-05 10:18

      I'll bet R675 billion that it was nothing compared to post 1994!

      goyougoodthing - 2012-09-05 10:23

      I am sure that monies were sifted, but in nowhere near the amounts done today.

      arm.witmens - 2012-09-05 10:26

      so you want to look into the history books to see how much money was lost to accomplish what exactly? You want to justify your party's blatant thievery?

      brett.bruce.121 - 2012-09-05 10:28

      A little known fact is hat the National party used to spend around 50% of the annual budget on black upliftment. Thats where universites like Medunsa and hospitals such as Baragwanath came from. Do a little research you will be very surprised.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-09-05 11:10

      lemohang, what is your point ?, whatever that figure was is history now, it is up to the people of this country to stop any further corruption and we all know how to do that, STOP voting this corrupt ANC into power, they have proved, conclusively, they don't care about their supporters regardless of their colour, they are only interested in self enrichment, YOU have the power to end that.

      konstabel.koekemoer - 2012-09-05 11:11

      What does that have to do with anything? We know that Apartheid was a corrupt system but I thought the ANC was meant to create a better South Africa??? And under the NP you did not have departments, provinces and municiplaities going bankrupt. This is just typical of the 'blame' mentaility in South Africa, instead of tackling the wrongs of todays leadership keep on referring to the wrongs of the past.

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-09-05 11:12

      Despite how you will be bashed, it is a fair comment. All the big game farms, and production farms were popular ways of rewarding ministers, families and friends of the state. While I will say, that graft did exist pre-1994 in a big way, the "new" government seem to have added speed and volume to the grabbing.

      firstseed.mbeva - 2012-09-05 11:19

      May be because journalists after 1994 have freedom to report

      rontheogre - 2012-09-05 12:27

      Looking at the present lifestyle of presidents and ministers pre-1994, they either are hiding what they took quite well or were not very clever or motivated to take much. Pity the ANC was concentrating too much on raiding the coffers than balancing the books when they took over. The only corruption case that stands out is the Info scandal with Eschel Roodie being the main player.

      aaron.radebe.1 - 2012-09-05 17:01

      @lemohang, the most high profile scandal prior to 1994 was the Info scandal which involved misappropriation of a grand total of R20 million. Even in today's money this is a fraction of a percentage of the average wholesale theft that goes on daily.

      sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-09-05 18:49

      Lemohang it would not be anything near the 10 million odd a day that the ANC steal presently.

      michael.j.anderson.144 - 2012-09-12 13:05

      Thank you Lemohang. A bit of perspective. regardless of whether the corruption figure was higher or lower pree 1994, the answer will not appease any of your 100 don't-likes. I want to know if "corrupt activities" means ALL corrupt activity, or only the GOVERNMENT'S corruption. I would hope our journo has done his homework and isn't being sensationalist, because this figure is so shocking, it's actually inflammatory. And this only draws us further apart from each other. I know it pissed me off when I first read it before thinking about it more critically.

  • demi.davidson.18 - 2012-09-05 10:15

    R675 billion! I read that number a few times to make sure I read it right! Time the anc was ousted. Time for the regime to be eradicated, along with all the thieving rats.

  • trevor.pietersen.3 - 2012-09-05 10:17

    Who...voted these THIEVES in??????

      arm.witmens - 2012-09-05 10:26


      brett.bruce.121 - 2012-09-05 10:28

      The brainwashed masses.

      lynn.syme.1 - 2012-09-05 18:33

      The thieves vote the thieves in

  • cliftoncliffie.verneel - 2012-09-05 10:19

    SA the land of honey and milk... Do whatever whenever.... It's called doing business \legal''

  • allstar.scotts - 2012-09-05 10:19

    The figure quoted is grossly conservative!!

      rontheogre - 2012-09-05 12:29

      It was already estimated in a memo circulated by members in parliament in 2010 to be between 600 and 800 Billion.

  • nadineelvina.francis - 2012-09-05 10:20

    The govt has not lost credibility, as the idiots still vote cANCer, election after election. Come 2050 when there is nothing left of SA , they will still vote cANCer. Our voting public really dont understand what they vote for. To them ,Its like voting for their favorite soccer team. As long as they can sing and dance while vote today and then strike about service delivery tommorrow. Idiots.

      sheik.mohammad.378 - 2012-09-05 18:56

      They might not know what they voting for, but the T-shirt fits nicely and the 5kgs of Mielie Meal every election helps a bit.

  • pierre.flyadvertising - 2012-09-05 10:24

    Economic freedom!I want it!I demand it!

  • paulo.teixeira.39948 - 2012-09-05 10:27

    viva south africa viva

  • vandeventer.sarel - 2012-09-05 10:28

    And they stil vote anc and i stil cant call them stupid!!! Hahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

  • mike.immelman.7 - 2012-09-05 10:33

    Those who have sworn oaths of office must be convicted of treason when they behave in a corrupt way / break their oath !

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-09-05 11:15

      Agreed. We could take it further - depriving a person of an eduction or healthcare diminishes their potention and life expectancy. Crime against humanity is the thought that comes to mind, considering how many children are involved.

  • FeebleGastro - 2012-09-05 10:41

    How much of it was diverted to the Mandela Children Fund and then got diverted to private pockets again?

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-09-05 10:43

    Well, That escalated quickly!!!

  • KCorsar - 2012-09-05 10:44

    And we have Ministers telling us there isn't money to educate the population, repair roads, ensure local governments run properly. I think it so more likely to be at least double this number in real terms. But using this as a benchmark R675 BILLION STOLEN over 18 years.............nice well done!! DISGUSTING SHAMEFUL If we take the 490 NCOP and National Assembly members this accounts for a collective R1.37BILLION per head and I haven't diluted this into local government yet (excludes their salary and other allowances). WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW. the figure I have always wanted to have an idea of, but the results actually isn't a surprise at all.

  • ryan.heenan.5 - 2012-09-05 10:52

    Absolutely disgusting

  • lums.zindela - 2012-09-05 10:55

    Wow!! R675bn \r\n>> allocated for corruption << \r\nIt's real madness, because the very people behind this are known to the law enforcement agencies but nothing has been done thus far. Where is SA heading to???

      ludlowdj - 2012-09-05 11:11

      The same place the rest of Africa is.

  • cameron.briceland - 2012-09-05 10:55

    I hope everyone who voted "yes" in the referendum are happy now. The Pandora's box that the National Party warned about it now for business

  • mantothieve.missingman - 2012-09-05 11:01

    Hang on anc voters , you in for rough future you thought apartheid was bad ? Your anc masters will show you some real suffering they learn from the best up in africa !

  • nikondaniel - 2012-09-05 11:05

    Exactly how many KFC buckets would that be?

      derek.smith.12177276 - 2012-09-05 11:40


  • ludlowdj - 2012-09-05 11:10

    South Africa getting what it deserves

  • wayne.jones.1422 - 2012-09-05 11:14

    Read a book recently on why Africa (South Africa) is in the mess it is... its because their leaders choose too! The are in power for self gain and not for the people who vote them in. Old Africa principle... as long as the sufferers have a leader the will look up to them. History has proven this over and over! Zimbabwe has proven this. Why would the ANC combat corruption, that would not financial sense for them now would it...

  • nmateke - 2012-09-05 11:17

    People Voted ANC because they had no other options, as at today many would still argue the same. The opositions parties just fight the ANC without giving better alternative that outset the it. I don't think one need to be an expert in governance,economic,science...etc, to know and understand who to vote for.Political parties need compelling arguments and action so that even a 7Year old primary school kid can understand, and be able to Shout out DA or ANC or Cope or (Vryheidsfront+, FF+)or AZAPO or UDM for election.

      cherholdt - 2012-09-05 11:34

      nmateke just switch you television wo channel 3 the parliament sessions other parties ar mocked and laughed at by the ruling party. So even if they come with better options they are out voted or mocked.

  • aam.coetzee - 2012-09-05 11:35

    R650 000 000 000 - Eish, is baie

  • Don.Tandy - 2012-09-05 11:58

    Anarchy Neotism Corruption

  • eddie.beavis - 2012-09-05 12:07

    Surely this evidence is enough to get an arrest warrant from the International Court in the Hague for this whole government, the charge being the theft on a grand scale of the economic future of the people and their children??

  • albie.mwansa - 2012-09-05 12:14

    Thats a lot of money. Are these statistics verifiable or are they based on assumptions. Howmuch did the black people loose during the wrath of aparthied has that been taken into consideration aswell. Or are you just concentrating on the present government. People scream fowl about the present government and do not look at what sins themselves have committed in the past.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-09-05 12:57

      No Albie, it is now(since 1994) and there was only one party in control in this timeline. We need to act now to get the oppositions stronger in Parliament. It is part of oppositions's job to be our ears, eyes and guardians against possible mismanagement of funds by any ruling party. When support is more even spread you and me, the voter, can practice more control to ensure the monies get spend correctly and minimized the corruption.

  • sean.odonnell.1466126 - 2012-09-05 12:29

    Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it you ANC die hards. And this theft of billions affects who, the worst? That's right, the poverty stricken masses. Please remind us again how concerned the ANC brothers are about their disadvantaged people.... Stand proud you ANC stalwarts!!

  • shane.asselbergs - 2012-09-05 12:50

    I only skimmed over the article, but I don't think that figure is inflation adjusted. I'll bet if you put that in 2012 rands it tops a trillion. How much is a trillion rand? R1 000 000 000 000. That's how much.

  • blatherwick.ashburner - 2012-09-05 13:17

    Wow! And to think if it were not for corruption every Zimbabwean could have had their own house in South Africa

  • hilette - 2012-09-05 13:47

    Only R675bn, Paul Hoffman must be a very polite person. The recorded proof is probably worth R675bn, there is much more which is unaccounted for.

  • Krishna - 2012-09-05 13:55


  • sisie.indola - 2012-09-05 14:06

    ANC democracy - all me and my buddies & the rest of you - sucker!

  • francois.snyman.9 - 2012-09-05 14:40

    That is around R13500 for every South African without raising taxes or cutting government expenditure. All you need to do is just not vote for thieves...

  • prakash.singh.169 - 2012-09-05 16:22


  • amelia.basson - 2012-09-05 16:34

    News24 what graft? Is it a euphimism for blatant theft?

  • witwolf.digter - 2012-09-05 17:03

    Yeah. Corruption, the anc's old and best pal! How much was sent down the drain to their parties, ridicules salaries and outrageous bonuses? Down with these money hungry useless anc officials....

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-05 18:58

    where these racist anc thieves are concerned this is a drop in the proverbial ocean

  • vivian.harris.73 - 2012-09-06 07:32

    And here we thought that getting rid of Apartheid and the NP government was to improve the lives of the people of SA. Guess it was all about theft then. 'Democracy...freedom to steal and oppress the oppressed while filling your pockets'- ANC Dictionary

  • peter.dielwart - 2012-12-05 13:20

    OMG, that is approximately 2,5 billion per month. That is R50 per person in SA per month. Surely this money would be better spent on the financing of the toll roads and electricity. F*** SANRAL and F*** Eskom, we've already paid

  • pieterjan.kilian - 2013-02-11 22:59

    this 675 number does it include the legal fees also wasted in government to support their employees or only the physical capital which disappears so often? like the invisible RDP houses and text books, there's a word in the dictionary for it..... corruption , but like I said unfortunately most dictionaries are transparent in SA schools so they wont even know the definition

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