Crime ‘still driving business emigration’

Business Day’s Sanchia Temkin says that according to a study released by accounting firm Grant Thornton, “The number of businesses affected by crime fell last year, but the high crime rate remained the main reason business people wanted to emigrate.”

According to Leonard Brehm, national chairman of Grant Thornton, crime is “still unacceptably high. More than half of the survey population has been affected by crime in the past year. The sad conclusion is that crime is still a major problem”.

Sanchia Temkin comments, “The study, which was carried out from October to November last year, found 55% of businesses reported that they, their staff or their families were affected by crimes such as housebreaking, hijacking, violent crime and road rage. This did not include white- and blue-collar crimes”.

A core function of government is to protect its citizens and their property, yet here in SA, government persists in expanding into other areas of the economy whilst crime continues to drive the best and brightest minds out of the country. By adversely affecting peoples’ movements, crime discourages the accumulation of human capital and thereby diminishes the country’s available pool of knowledge.

Furthermore, it increases the cost of doing business because firms are forced to spend resources on protecting their employees and their assets, causing the price of goods and services to escalate. This kind of ‘investment’ is virtually a deadweight loss to society and could be used in more fruitful ways that add to the productivity and prosperity of the country.

Source: Sanchia Temkin Crime ‘still driving business emigration’ Business Day, March 04, 2010

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FMF Policy Bulletin / 09 March 2010

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