The South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) strongly condemns and is extremely disappointed at the crime levels which remain pervasive in the country. However, SAFTU is not surprised at all that we live in a country with extra ordinary levels of crime.
There is an undeniable correlation between the levels of crime and the extra ordinary levels of poverty and unemployment we see in South Africa.
The first quarter labour force survey reported a slaughtering of 200 000 jobs. The latest StatsSA Labour Force Survey for the second quarter of 2019 reported a 9,4% (573 000) increase in the number of persons who were not economically active. South Africa remains plagued by staggering levels of unemployment. We now have 10,2 million South Africans who are unemployed. The unemployment figure for Black Africans is 43%, and Black African females are 47%, and the Eastern Cape has an unemployment rate of 47%.
As we speak, the country is facing an unprecedented job loss blood bath. Nearly two thirds of the citizens live in poverty.
Murder rate increased by 3.4%, with all murders in the country said to take place during weekends between 21h00 and 03h00. The SAPS has pointed out that these figures are tied to alcohol and drug abuse, which ramps up over the weekend at these times. Drug and alcohol abuse speak to the relationship between extra levels of desperation and hopelessness as a result of the economic situation we see in the country.
It is therefore, no surprise that the country has also seen drastic increases in reported sexual offense crimes, up by 4.6% from last year. It is pleasing that sexual offences detected by the police has seen a climb, up by 19%. This shows active policing in this specific area. This suggest a more combative police force which we welcome.
South Africa is still a deeply patriarchal society in which men still believe they have the power to do as they wish to their female counterparts. There is a general culture of violence which manifest itself in every sphere of society. Women and children are the main victims of this culture. The masculine culture also sees men as the main victims of this pervasive violence. According to the stats released today, of the 58 people who get murdered a day 47 are men, 8 women and 3 are children.
There is also no surprise that commercial crimes have increased by a massive 14.4%.
In any self-respecting democracy, a Police Minister and Commissioner of police would announce their resignations following these disastrous figures. But not in South Africa! The people who have driven the country to its knees have their collective conscious long dead and will not take any responsibility for the crisis the country finds itself.
SAFTU has announced a programme of mass mobilisation against this status quo and fully supports every genuine attempt to highlight the scourge of violence against women and children. SAFTU calls on all workers who have the means to join the march to the ICC tomorrow, 13 September 2019.