Government has acknowledged that high levels of violent crime in South Africa are having a significant negative impact on the country’s economy.
According to government’s green paper on policing, drawn up by the police civil secretariat and which had just been released, violent crime was preventing South Africans from participating socially and economically in the country, Beeld reported today.
In addition to the about R68 billion in tax money spent annually on the South African Police Service (SAPS), violent crime was costing the country dearly due to loss of productivity and foreign investment, the document stated.
Dr Johan Burger, senior researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), said he was pleased to hear government recognise the facts.
“Crime in South Africa is a blanket of fear that has an inhibitory effect on everything.”
Democratic Alliance spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard said government’s acknowledgement of the problem was a watershed moment.
However, acting parliamentary portfolio committee on police chairwoman, Annelize van Wyk, said government had been aware of the impact of crime on the economy for a long time.
“Just look at our budget. It’s important to lay a solid foundation and the green paper is merely the starting point for legislation,” she said.
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