Election Alert: Zooming In On The High Cost of Corruption On Everyday Life
27 May, 2024

Rynhardt de Lange, Director at Milaw Legal



With elections nearing, Rynhardt de Lange, Director and Head of Legal at Milaw Legal considers how corruption affects personal finances and offers tips on how to approach elections.



With elections less than a week away, the conversation around political corruption, transparency, and their effects on South Africans and their financial wellbeing is more pertinent than ever as South Africa ranked 83rd out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index.



This is according to Rynhardt de Lange, Director and Head of Legal at Milaw Legal who said corruption leads to higher taxes and reduced public services, placing a heavier financial burden on individuals and families. “When government officials embezzle or misuse funds, there is less money available for healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Also, governments may raise taxes to compensate for this shortfall leading to widespread economic instability,” said de Lange.


De Lange highlighted that corruption often benefited a small elite at the expense of the general population. He said this leads to greater economic inequality, where a large portion of the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, leaving the majority with fewer resources and opportunities for economic advancement. “The inequitable distribution of wealth caused by corruption exacerbates economic disparities and limits opportunities for many South Africans,” de Lange explains.


“One of the most striking examples of how corruption impacts the financial well-being of ordinary citizens in South Africa is the ongoing crisis with Eskom. Years of mismanagement have led to higher electricity costs, loadshedding, economic instability, increased living costs, and joblessness,” said de Lange.


According to a recent Corruption Watch report titled “The Impact of Corruption: Insights from a Perceptions and Experiences Survey,” a staggering two-thirds of respondents expressed little confidence in law enforcement agencies’ ability to combat corruption. Additionally, 49% have low confidence in the adequacy of anti-corruption laws, with a third expressing no confidence at all.



As South Africans head to the polls, de Lange said it was crucial to consider the broader implications of corruption on personal finances. He offered the following tips to approach the elections:


  • Research Candidate Histories: Look into the backgrounds of the candidates and their political parties. Investigate their track records on fighting corruption and promoting transparency.


  • Examine Policy Proposals: Review the candidates’ policy proposals, especially those related to anti-corruption measures, economic stability, and public service improvement. Choose those with clear, actionable plans.


  • Evaluate Financial Integrity: Assess candidates based on their financial integrity. Avoid those with histories of financial misconduct or ties to corrupt activities.


  • Prioritize Transparency: Support candidates who advocate for greater transparency in government operations and spending. Transparency helps reduce corruption and ensures public funds are used effectively.


  • Weigh Economic Policies: Evaluate candidates’ economic policies. Favor those who promote economic stability, job creation, and sustainable growth, as these factors contribute to personal financial security.










@Rynhardt de Lange, Milaw Legal
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