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Violent crime harms SA economy

Jun 18 2013 09:27 Sapa
Police-tape, police, crime scene

(Nielen Bottomley, News24)

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THe 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.

In addition to the about R68bn 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, chairperson of the acting parliamentary portfolio committee on police, Annelize van Wyk, said government had been aware of the impact of crime on the economy for a long time.

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