South African companies have reported a considerably higher frequency in the incidence of economic crime in comparison to their African and global peers, with more than two in three organisations (69%) indicating that they had been victim to economic crime in the last 24 months, according to PwC’s biennial Global Economic Crime Survey issued today.
According to Louis Strydom, Forensic Services Leader for PwC Africa:
“Economic crime remains a serious challenge to business leaders, government officials and private individuals in South Africa. In this survey, we have found that the trend has remained unchanged from 2014, with 69% of South African respondents reporting that they had experienced economic crime in the last two years.
“When compared to the global statistic of 36%, we are faced with the stark reality that economic crime is at a pandemic level in South Africa. No sector or region is immune from economic crime.”
Sixty-eight percent of French and 55% of UK respondents also reported high increases in the rate of economic crime in the past 24 months, both up 25% when compared to 2014. Sixty-one percent of Zambian respondents reported economic crime, up 31% over 2014.
“The fact that developed countries are included in the list of the top ten countries reporting the highest rates of economic crime brings home a clear message – economic crime is a global issue and one that affects developed markets as much as it does emerging ones.”
According to the survey findings, South Africans also exhibited significantly low levels of confidence in local law enforcement agencies, with 70% of organisations believing agencies are inadequately resourced and trained to investigate and fight economic crime. This is almost twice the global rate of 44%.