Corporate governance transgressions are not accidental but schemed and sanctioned right inside the supposedly righteous boardrooms, even in South Africa.
A 13th Global Fraud Survey from Ernst & Young (EY), which Transform SA is in possession, says chief executives believe cooking the books to help an organisation endure tough economic times is very acceptable.
The result are from a survey of conducted amongst 2 700 executives across 59 countries, including South Africa. Deplorably, 11% of respondents said that misstating a company’s financial performance in order to help a business survive a downturn was truly justified.
Shockingly, the report also indicated that 21% of the respondents disclosed that they had been asked to pay a bribe in the past.
In its analysis on corporate fraud and corruption, the report is aware that dealing with the scourge is a formidable task. “Our research suggests that there may be a persistent or residual level of inappropriate conduct that cannot be eradicated.”
Undoubtedly, corporate South Africa has quite some work to do. While nearly 40% of executives considered bribery and corruption widespread in their countries, in South Africa this figure stood at 78%.