Corruption in land governance is commonly defined as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain while carrying out the functions of land administration and land management. When land investors target countries with weak governance, the risk of corruption is high. Likewise, corruption is more likely to occur when local elites are able to manipulate their country’s land governance systems for their own benefit.
The world at a glance: incidence of bribing in the land sector
By Gareth Benest and Courtney Paisley
Blockchain land registries, community land committees and refuges for landless women are among the latest approaches to tackling land corruption proposed by young social entrepreneurs from Africa.
The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on this year’s CPI, with an average score of just 43.
A total of 42 people - including government officials - have been accused of orchestrating a corrupt land reform project worth hundreds of millions of rand.
A damning report for the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) has uncovered a huge network of fraud relating to land reform projects in South Africa, casting a shadow over the future of the ANC’s land redistribution plans.