Violent Crime In South Africa Brings High Cost While Creating A Culture of Fear

Violent crime in South Africa has become an increasing problem as farming in the country has become one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. Gangs, xenophobia, and riots have contributed to the problem, and South Africa has become the 19th most violent country in the world and the 10th most dangerous.

Business Tech reported that the latest Global Peace Index, which is by the compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), showed that crime in the country costs about 19 percent of the GDP. Currently, the GDP is around $350 billion. In real numbers this means that in 2015, the cost of crime was about $66.7 billion (R989 billion). Crime across the world is up, and it amounts to about $13.6 trillion in costs. Ranked number 33 in 2015, this is bad news for a country rocked by scandal and a deteriorating economy.

As previously reported in Inquisitr, President Jacob Zuma believes that the solution to crime in the country is to turn it into a gun-free state. The president, who fought against the previous apartheid government, is famous for singing “Umshini Wami,” or “bring me my machine gun.” Currently, the head of the ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), Zuma was part of the ANC during apartheid when they smuggled between 60 and 100 tons of weapons into the country. Zuma was seeking the measure for the purpose of reducing violence against police officers.

amaBunghane reported that the crime in South Africa has inspired a culture of fear. June 26 marked the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. As the ANC continues to implode and has ineffectively dealt with the issue of crime, one example of the crime problems revolves a South Durban housing complex where violence has exploded and crime has increased. The constant interference of police, combined with an inability to obtain any murder convictions and 14 reports of police torture in this area in Durban has only increased the friction.

At the center of the controversy is the Glebelands Hostel, a place previously used to house migrant workers during apartheid. While police claim the problem lies with the residents and the community, hostel residents claim police have used torture to try and stop the violence. Although torture was outlawed in the South African Constitution in 1996, it wasn’t until 2013 that it was again codified into law with the passage of the Prevention of Combating and Torture of Persons Act.

My Broadband reported that crime is affecting every level of South African society. Many citizens are forced to live behind high walls to protect themselves, as well as implementing extreme measures to limit their chances of becoming victims of crime. Businesses are struggling with shoplifting, as well as robbery, and it’s not just limited to their customers, either. Employees are also engaging in theft, compounding the problem. Many electronics stores are now having to employ full time security guards to prevent further theft.

Many electronic items are kept under lock and key, and they often aren’t available to the customer until payment has been made. While the time to select and buy an electronic item for the average person might take just two minutes, the average time to make a purchase because of all the security often takes at least 16 minutes.

Another element of violent crime in South Africa involves corruption within the police forces. A police officer was recently convicted of selling guns to gang members in Cape Town. News 24 reported that an ex police officer was given 18 years for reselling guns to gang members. Chris Prinsloo, 55, entered a plea with the state and was sentenced on 11 charges that included racketeering and theft.

[Photo by Charlie Shoemaker/Getty Images]