By Monica Brown


Greetings to all once again.

I am a born South African.

If you do not know where South Africa is , let me tell you about this beautiful place. South Africa is a country located at the southern tip of Africa.It shares its borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho.The coastline is exquisite, the Big 5 breathtaking and the people incredibly friendly. The police are not all that bad, you do get some nice ones.The country is made up of multiple cultures including African, Caucasian, Indian, Chinese, mixed race, and Indigenous people.

I have lived in South Africa all my life, but I have travelled extensively. Honestly the crime here is not that much different to that of London or New York. Yes you do have to be careful in some areas, just like in any big city.

Mainly, it can be said that it is a country consisting of two countries.On the one hand, it is a first world state, especially the major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg, and on the other hand it has a staggering rate of poverty.

It is one of the most unequal countries in the world, where you can see opulence and poverty standing side by side.The country is a mixture of the third world and the first world due to the inequalities between those on the richest end of the scale and those on the poorest end of the scale.

Violent crimes such as murder, physical assault, sexual assault, and manslaughter are among the most popular types of crime in this country. There have also been reports of food and drink spiking, with victims ending up being assaulted and robbed after the incident.

In the third part of this topic looking at why crime go unreported and we will also discuss possible problems causing crime and lastly we will look at what you can do to keep yourself safe.

Crime affects communities in many ways, but some of the worst are those that undermine the social fabric, or interpersonal relations of a group. In other words, people become afraid and stop trusting each other, stop working together, and stop investing in local businesses and ideas.

Preventing crime takes each individual person being responsible for their own safety and making wise choices.

Why is fear a reason for unreported crime?

Community members may not report a crime out of fear of retaliation, becoming a victim as a result, fear that they will not be believed by police. This is one of the reasons that our communities are in such disarray.

Many people that reported crimes and also started tackling crime in their communities lived in fear afterwards as they had no protection whatsoever from the police.

Fear is one of the biggest driving forces in our communities and that leads to criminals being able to build big empires and gangs in the same community they grew up in.

Communities completely end up being at the mercy of these criminals as the justice system cannot protect them.

The country is seeing increases in robbery and a continuation in the high numbers of murders: the two most reliable indicators of public safety. The rising rates show that the government’s goal of ensuring that all South Africans should be and feel safe is a long way from being achieved. Therefore under reporting will continue.

As South Africa’s political environment deteriorates, so too does public safety. That is a fact. The very same people we entrusted to look after our country are spending so much time in court themselves for one or the other crime.

So many people believe that the police would or could not do anything about their case , so they rather not report it.

Is it a crime not to report a crime in South Africa?

No person, in general terms, is obliged to report a crime. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. A broad distinction can be made between two types of crime namely common-law and statutory offences.

Why do culture bound crimes go unreported?

Culture-bound crimes are acts or omissions that are specific to a cultural group. These may be unreported as people are unlikely to want to interfere in cultures they do not understand.

What crime is the most unreported?

Despite the fact that studies estimate one in six women and one in 21 men will be a victim of attempted or completed forcible rape in their lifetimes, only 16-40% of rapes are reported to law enforcement. This is really serious because any man should feel that he can report any crime that had been committed to him, whether he is an adult or a child.

What is the biggest crime in South Africa?

Murder and organized crime are particularly widespread in South Africa. In 2022, the country had one of the highest. Moreover, South Africa’s crime scene is also characterized by the presence of organized criminal activities, for which the country ranked fifth in Africa.

Why is crime a problem in society?

Therefore, if crime levels rise, there will be less money for other services such as education and healthcare. Crime also costs individuals through higher prices in shops for good and services. If businesses are losing money to crime they pass this cost on to customers by increasing prices.

The call on communities to be working together with SAPS against crime cannot be understated. However at what cost?

To look away and ignore abuse and violence of anyone is a betrayal of humanity.

We see people making videos on their phones all the time. People are witnessing horrific crimes but they do not report.

We need a mindset shift and a huge shift in our governing bodies that is responsible for our communities safety. Otherwise we as South African Communities will not be able get out of this prison we created for ourselves.

How does unemployment contribute to crime in South Africa?

When people earn low wages, they are likely to resolve property crime such as burglary because they will make money even if it is illegitimate. Assault and robbery are also related to the high rates of unemployment because money is the primary motivator. Poverty and lack of financial resources escalate crime.

How does crime affect the economy?

Crime not only affects economic productivity when victims miss work, but communities also are affected through loss of tourism and retail sales. Even the so-called victimless crimes of prostitution, drug abuse, and gambling have major social consequences.

What are some negative effects of crime?

After you experience a crime you may find that:

  • You feel angry, upset or experience other strong emotions.
  • Things suddenly fall apart for you.
  • You show physical symptoms.
  • You blame yourself thinking you should have done things differently.
  • You develop long-term problems such as depression or anxiety-related illness.

Some safety tips that I apply to myself daily..

Keeping your home safe.It’s important to feel safe in your own home. According to the police, homes with no security measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures in place.If your home has been burgled, it can affect your finances but also impact your emotional wellbeing and sense of security.

Consider installing extra security such as CCTV or outside security lights to deter potential burglars.

You may be tempted to tell the world about your exciting holiday plans – but sharing too much information on social media could give a burglar information about when your house is empty. Think about who can see this information before you post it.

Be very careful who you appoint to do your house cleaning and gardening service. Ensure that you have trustworthy and reliable staff.Do regular post screening of staff.

Personal safety

When you’re out and about, it’s important to take some sensible precautions to stay safe.

Make travel plans in advance and let your family or friends know when and where you’re going.Stick to busy, well-lit areas and keep close to a group if you feel unsafe.Stay alert and aware of your surroundings – don’t wear your headphones when you’re out alone.Don’t keep all your valuables in one place. Try to keep them in different pockets or areas of your bag.

Final Thought:

Personally the cost of running prisons is a real serious problem in South Africa.Since South Africa has a lot of violent crime, it also has a lot of people who are incarcerated. This is a double problem for the government. An incarcerated person is not productive and so it is lost revenue, and then there are out of pocket expenses as well! Really just looking at all the drama we seeing now with the Thabo Bester Saga.

The South African government spends close to $9 billion on incarceration every year. However, even after spending this huge sum of money it creates more problem than it solves. It is a known fact that the South African system is handling at least 20% to 30% more prisoners than it is supposed to.

This leads to overcrowding which causes problems such as violence and the spread of infectious diseases amongst criminals. The healthcare cost further adds to the expenses making prisons unviable.

South Africa needs a bigger police force in order to prevent violent crimes from happening. The number of courts and judges have to be more because more cases related to violent crime have to be handled and successfully tried. The police and other law enforcement agencies also get the bulk of the taxpayer’s money. It is really a loosing battle for the South African communities as you even look at the poor service that we receive from these law enforcement agencies and the police.

How many reports been logged against police officers locking the police stations and sleeping on duty.Recently I saw an article that drunk law enforcement officers caused an accident.

There are a lot of investors that are turning away from investing in South Africa due to the crime rate that is so high. A lost opportunity for South Africa indeed.

Violence is costing South Africa a lot of money. It is taking down the entire economy with it.

What happened to our beloved country?

Monica Brown, Changemaker, Activist And Social Entrepreneur, CRW NEWS Freelance Columnist

Article Reproduced with Permission from Monica Brown

To view the original article by Monica Brown on LinkedIn visit here

We hope you enjoyed the article, there will be more regular weekly articles from Monica Brown coming soon.