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Crime stats point to alarming deterioration of the country’s security

The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry is alarmed by the country’s deteriorating security situation, evident in the latest deplorable crime statistics.   In addition to significant increases in the number of murders and attempted murders, the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year saw a major spike in hijackings and truck hijackings, as well as a small increase in business robberies.

These grim statistics coincide with weekend reports of an apparent concerted effort to destabilise the country’s long distance bus industry. Bus company Intercape reporting 150 cases of shooting, intimidation and stoning since early 2021, the Sunday Times reports.

These statistics suggest that we are witnessing a massive systemic failure to combat a crime wave that threatens the stability of the state.  The increase in extortion and other crimes targeting specific industries also damaging to the country’s prospects of economic recovery and growth. The inability to protect the long-distance bus industry, such a key component of the transport sector, suggests SAPS are losing the battle against organised crime, a failure brought about partly due to a lack of resources.

As a business Chamber we feel strongly that creating jobs and business activity is one of the keys to addressing the deteriorating security situation.  Increasing South Africa’s tax base by growing the economy will not only increase the state’s available budget, it will provide gainful employment at a time when many turn to crime as a last resort to provide for their families.

The reality is that the country is held hostage by both crime and poverty, and no amount of political grandstanding or Bheki Cele road shows can obfuscate the urgent need for fundamental reforms required to grow the economy and capacitate cash-strapped government services, including SAPS.

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