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South Africans do not believe in their MPs and municipal councillors, with more than half of those surveyed saying most or all of them are corrupt, according to an Afrobarometer study released on Thursday.

In terms of the results, 46% of people surveyed said most or all MPs were corrupt, while 48% said the same of their councillors.

This was above the South African average of 28% that think otherwise, the study reveals.

For MPs, this perception has increased 19 percentage points since 2005.

The survey also found that seven in 10 South Africans agreed that political leaders were more concerned with their own ambitions.

A total of 54% said they disapproved of their MPs performance and another 61% of their local councillors.

The findings were part of a report titled, Job performance of MPs, local councillors: are representatives serving voters or themselves?

According to Afrobarometer, in SA, two-thirds of respondents (68%) said officials who committed crimes went unpunished while ordinary citizens were less likely to get away without being punished.

Of the 18 countries tracked since 2005, on the question of impunity, SA was at the top of the list for having officials who committed crimes often or always, Afrobarometer said.