South Africa’s latest crime statistics show a shocking increase in violent crimes, making it increasingly difficult to do business in the country, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) chief executive Busi Mavuso.
Writing in her weekly open letter to the public, Mavuso noted that businesses in the country have also had to grapple with increased extortion attempts.
“A business mafia has evolved that threatens businesses, demanding inducements to avoid consequences. This has become a priority national crime and Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) has set up an information-sharing site to capture all information regarding extortion incidents.”
“By capturing such information we can understand trends and connect incidents, improving the probabilities of arrests and successful prosecutions. You can access the reporting portal and I encourage every business that has been subject to any extortion attempt to do so.”
Mavuso added that crime affects employees and customers and presents serious security challenges to businesses. Commercial crime also damages the economy, with over 25,000 cases reported in the quarter, a 13% increase on the previous year, she said.
“Murders increased 22% to 6,083 for the quarter, working out to an average of 67 murders per day. These statistics show the horrendous toll that crime has on all South Africans.”
“Crime of course is a complex phenomenon that has many causes. Poverty and social dysfunction certainly contribute. The crime figures were particularly bleak for women, with murder, attempted murder and assault recording double-digit increases (though 90% of murders are of men).”
She noted that over 10,000 rape cases were reported in the quarter, a 14% increase. The number of children murdered also increased by 37%.
“Our most vulnerable are facing the most serious consequences of the crime wave.
“The crime figures are horrendous, but I am encouraged by the calls for partnership and the practical interventions to ensure that police stations become partners with communities to fight the scourge of crime. We in organised business are ready to be part of these efforts and I look forward to more work with the police and communities to improve our fight against crime.”