According to recent South African Police Service (SAPS) statistics, more than 7,000 people were killed over the course of three months between July 1 and September 30, 2022, in South Africa. The statistics were presented before the South African Parliament's portfolio committee on Wednesday evening.
The crime statistics in the country are worrying. According to the report, there were 14% more murders between July and September this year than there were during the same period in 2021, when 6,163 individuals were killed.
The report revealed that kidnappings doubled to more than 4,000 from the same time last year, and carjacking increased by 24% to over 6,000. In addition, rapes increased by 11%, with 10,000 cases reported nationwide in a nation notorious for sex assaults against women and children.
Gender Based Violence
Police Minister Bheki Cele painted a bleak picture of gender-based violence in South Africa, and at a news conference he stated that "the pace at which women are assaulted, violated, and some are killed in South Africa remains disturbing and unacceptable."
In the recent report, nearly 1,000 women are among those who were killed. Additionally, 1,277 women were the targets of attempted murder, and more than 13,000 women were assaulted with the aim of causing serious bodily harm. Many women are killed by people they know, love, and trust.
The report also revealed that 550 children lost their lives between April and September 2022. Minister Cele stated that the crime statistics once more demonstrate how inadequately our communities are protecting some of the most vulnerable members of society, including our children.
The police minister pledged to increase police personnel by adding 10,000 new recruits before the Christmas and New Year period, when crime typically increases. The deployment of new recruits will increase police visibility throughout the holiday season and beyond.
According to the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the largest labor union in the country, the headcount of the South African police force has decreased by about 30,000 over the previous ten years, from more than 200,000 to 172,000.
Millions of South Africans are losing hope and want Minister Cele to be fired. They argue that he has failed to combat crime across the country. Andrew Whitfield, a lawmaker from the Democratic Alliance, the largest opposition party, stated that "the bloodbath of violent crime remains out of control across the country with millions of people living in fear." Whitfield demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa fire Cele.
Impact of Crime on the economy
Criminal activity is harmful and has an impact on businesses as well as on individuals. Businesses frequently incur direct and indirect costs as a result of crime. The items that influence money, stolen goods, and property damage are referred to as the direct costs of crime on businesses. The temporary closure of the company, the loss of tools needed to complete duties, and the time wasted from the staff's absence from work are all examples of the indirect costs of crime.
An increase in crime raises security expenditures, making it a significant financial burden. Businesses will need to take money out of their profits in order to pay for the security measures they will need to defend their operations. These high security costs could be a waste of money because they will raise business expenses and prevent them from investing in the company's growth.