Social policy on crime in democratic South Africa 1994-2001.
The reported rate of violent crime tops the agenda on the mind of South Africans. It remains the main contending problem facing the current administration and the general populace. Its effect cut across race, class, sectors, provinces, cities, or locations. With violent crime against the individual and property continually escalating the very survival of the civil populace and the institution of democracy would remain undermined. Consequently, the effects of a high crime rate are presently affecting the image of the country abroad, as it is threatening other vital sectors of the economy such as: tourism, transport, construction and building projects and other domestic sectors of the economy. It leads to problems such as the brain drain and has a high cost associated with sustaining the criminal justice system. In the light of the above, the central thrust of this thesis is to identify the role and functions of organized criminal organizations that have proliferated and are greatly entrenched in South Africa. Although this thesis acknowledges the findings of victim surveys, which have shown that more than 50% of murders, assaults and sexual assaults in South Africa occur between people who know each other, the fact is that illicit and criminal activities such as thefts and smuggling extend beyond the shores of the country in an organized fashion. There seem to be no doubt that the activities of organized crime operate in a democratic dispensation that has adopted a broad range of rights including the right of privacy. The Government response through social policy documents has clearly failed to combat organized crime or reduce the levels of violent crime. The reason is that since organized crime is complex to observe, criminals have become more daring in their exploits. In addition this thesis would examine major policies starting with the South Africa National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) and the White Paper for Safety and Security, recent budget increases to fight crime as well as a range of policies under the present ANC-led government. While not assuming that this research has a permanent solution to solving violent crime, it is a fact that income inequality, drug abuse, and poor socio economic conditions remain core problems facing the government. One is hopeful that the solution of South Africa crime problem may lie within the political leadership. That is if the political will power can be exercised and the leadership of the country and the security apparatuses become decisive in their relentless fight against crime.