The South African Police Service (SAPS) is the most corrupt institution in the country, according to a survey published on Thursday.
Two thirds, or 66 percent, of those surveyed believed that bribery and corruption are endemic in the SAPS, said the SA Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) which conducted the survey.
Results of the survey were published after 20 police members in the now disbanded Durban Organized Crime Unit were arrested on corruption charges on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Home Affairs followed SAPS as the second most corrupt institution as 38 percent of those surveyed think where there is considerable bribery and corruption among Home Affairs officials.
Other corrupt public representatives are national politicians, with 37 percent, officials awarding tenders, with 37 percent, and the people working in the judicial service, with 36 percent.
"The extensive exposure afforded to corruption cases by the media in recent years, including high-level policing scandals and tender irregularities, are likely to have fuelled these perceptions," the survey said.
Other public representatives that South Africans consider corrupt, albeit on a lesser scale, include officials issuing business permits, people working in the public health sector, and people working in the public education sector.
"Around three quarters (74 percent) of all South Africans believe the incidence of corruption has increased in the past three years, while 10 percent feel it has declined and 12 percent report that it has remained unchanged over the period,"said the survey.
Reasons cited for rampant corruption include the lack of action by politicians to fight corruption, lack of punishment for corrupt officials and lack of transparency, according to the survey.
The survey sampled 3, 057 South Africans of the ages of 16 and above.