How the high crime rate in SA affects trade

March 14, 2018

The big issue facing South African businesses is that we have one of the highest crime rates in the world. This does not bode well for tourism to our shores nor does it attract much needed foreign investment.

According to the latest published findings (SAPS Crime Stats 2017), crime is officially on the decrease (by a whopping 1.8%) but sadly, violent crime is on the rise.

Overview of crime in SA
• Cities remain the most crime ridden areas
• The Western Cape is the murder capital of SA
• Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro are the most violent metros in SA based on murder rates *State of Urban Safety Report in South Africa
• Johannesburg has the highest rate of robberies at residential premises‚ with twice the national rate
• Buffalo City has the dubious honour of having the highest rate of sexual offences

The problem is that the rot sets in from the top and once our leaders show disdain for the law and for doing what is right, there is little reason for the rest of us to follow. As business, we need to insist on good and transparent leadership so that we can lead by example. We need to be vigilant and stamp out crime in all its insidious forms. The cost is simply too high.

The cost of crime to business
• Crime reduces foreign investment and tourism.
• Crime results in the erosion of human capital through emigration.
• There is an increase in health costs due to injury and stress.
• The psychological cost of crime on business owners is high and indicates high rate of depression and little motivation to work.
• Direct losses from theft and fraud.
• High security costs that diminish profits.
• Job losses as businesses close.

As we aim for profits, let us stop to consider how we can contribute to fighting the scurge of crime in our country. Let us all work together to find ways to do good while we do well so that future generations can look forward to jobs here in SA.

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