More than 83 % of people in business feel more unsafe that they did five years ago and only 2.4% feel safer, says the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This was one of the shock results of a survey of members carried out by the Chamber.
“The exercise does have the weaknesses of a voluntary response survey and it may have been skewed as those who had suffered crime may have been more likely to complete it. However, irrespective of the integrity of the sample, the views were so consistent that we think it is valid and reflects some of the major concerns of business,” said Janine Myburgh, President of the Chamber.
“We know we have a high crime rate but those statistics tell only half the story. The other half is the way crime affects the productive people in our economy, the people who make the investment decisions to economy grow and create the jobs.”
The survey revealed that roughly one in three people in business have had cell phones stolen and have had their houses broken into but the direct impact on business was even greater with 43.37% of respondents reporting that their businesses had been burglarised in the past five years.
Nearly 40% of respondents said that they or a family member had been a victim of violent crime but “just” 20 percent of businesses had suffered violent crime. Almost half of the respondents (48.19%) had been victims of fraud and 55.42% knew first-hand of someone who had been offered or accepted a bribe.
Myburgh said this was particularly alarming as bribery was one of those crimes frequently repeated and became ingrained as a pattern in order to get things done or to secure tenders.
Nearly 35% of respondents said they were satisfied with the response of the police when they needed them, but nearly 52% said they were not satisfied. Only 13% had not required police services.
The survey also indicated that private security firms enjoyed a much high approval rating than the police with nearly 58% of clients satisfied and 25.5% dissatisfied. The survey revealed strong support (75.9%) for the collective voice of business as a means to make for a better future for South Africa.