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Crime rate in South Africa worries investors
14/08/2019

In February 2007, the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation was contracted by the South African government to carry out a study on the nature of crime in South Africa. The study pointed out different factors which contributed to high levels of violence.[1] Violent and non-violent crimes in South Africa have been ascribed to:

  • The normalization of violence. Violence is seen as a necessary and justified way of resolving conflict, and males believe that coercive sexual behavior against women is legitimate.
  • A subculture of violence and criminality, ranging from individual criminals who rape or rob to informal groups or more formalized gangs. Those involved in the subculture are engaged in criminal careers[2] and commonly use firearms, with the exception of Cape Town where knife violence is more prevalent. Credibility within this subculture is related to the readiness to resort to extreme violence.
  • The vulnerability of young people linked to inadequate child rearing and poor youth socialization. As a result of poverty, unstable living arrangements and being brought up with inconsistent and uncaring parenting,[2] some South African children are exposed to risk factors which enhance the chances that they will become involved in criminality and violence.
  • The high levels of inequality, poverty, unemployment, social exclusion and marginalization.
  • The reliance on a criminal justice system that is mired in many issues, including inefficiency and corruption.
  • Many South African police officers work long hours out of under-resourced police stations. Many of these stations lack basic office equipment such as a photocopier or fax machine, while their only phone landline is often busy, and they may be out of printing paper or even toilet paper.[3]
  • Many police officers are tempted by offers from the criminal underworld, especially when their superiors and seniors are visibly on the take.[3] A 2019 survey by Global Corruption Barometer Africa suggested that the South African Police Service is seen as the most corrupt institution in the country.[4]
  • South Africa's Criminal Justice Budget was subject to plunder by corrupt police officials at least during the period from 1997 to 2017.[3][5] The massive inside job involved over 20 persons in the SAPS's top brass,[6] and probes into these activities necessitated the discontinuation of some essential policing services.[7]
  • Ammunition and fire arms are regularly stolen from the security forces, and it is feared that these may be used in other crimes.[8]
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