The general prevalence of crime in Cape Town is having a traumatic effect on 82% of staff employed by members of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to a statement released by the group on Thursday (19 September), just over half of the respondents in a survey issued by the group said that the effect of crime was significant.
The majority of respondents also noted that the effects of crime on staff had resulted in an increased rate of absenteeism.
20.6% of respondents said there was a significant loss of man-hours and 37.4% said there was a slight loss of man-hours.
“We think that the results of the survey give us a wider picture of the often unseen effects of crime on the people of Cape Town,” said president of the Cape Chamber Geoff Jacobs.
“In fact, the situation may be worse because we also have ‘presenteeism’ where people may be at their desks or workbenches but they are too traumatised to focus on their work,” he said.
Jacobs said that more than 38% of respondents said they had experienced a criminal act (burglary, robbery, theft etc) in the past 12 months and in 21% of these cases staff had been physically attacked or threatened by criminals.
More than 10% were physically injured. In an attempt to contain the situation, 96% of respondents said they had invested in more burglar bars and alarms linked to security firms and the police.
“Clearly, this is an unacceptable situation and it has a depressing effect on the economy and job creation,” Jacobs said.
“We have a major challenge ahead and we cannot rely solely on the police to combat crime. We will all have to work together if we are to reduce the trauma and cost of crime.