Cape Town: South Africa has lost 675 billion rand (about $80 billion) due to corruption since the end of apartheid in 1994, it was revealed Wednesday.
The figure was made available by the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa at the `Towards Carnegie 3` conference at the University of Cape Town currently underway, according to newspaper Die Burger.
The estimated loss due to corruption since 1994 could be just the beginning, Paul Hoffman, director of the institute, warned in a report on the impact of corruption and inequality presented at the meeting, reported Xinhua.
In addition to the loss of money, corruption also does "permanent structural damage" to the country, such as government credibility in the eyes of the public, Hoffman said.
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, Hoffman said.
If tender fraud and corruption could be eradicated, that would already make an extra 30 billion rand (about $3.6 billion) available for social upliftment, said Hoffman.
The government has declared a war on corruption as a key priority, setting a target of sending 100 corrupt officials charged with amassing unlawful assets exceeding five million rands (595,000 dollars) to prison by 2014.