One business that’s booming – and it’s the result of fear

Dr. Frans Cronjé (left) and Ian Cameron. Photo: Afriforum

Dr. Frans Cronjé (left) and Ian Cameron of AfriForum. Photo: Afriforum

The private security industry has boomed since 1985. According to the CEO of the Institute for Race Relations, Dr. Frans Cronjé, the industry consisted of 60 000 security guards nationwide in that year. Between 1997 and 2014 the number of security guards increased by 322% to 487 058.

Cronjé ascribes this dramatic rise, as well as a rise in incidents of vigilantism, to a perception that the state does not ensure people’s safety.

According to the report “Winning the war on crime in South Africa: A new approach to community policing,” released in conjunction with AfriForum,  South Africa is still one of the most dangerous countries in the world. More than 500 000 people have been murdered in the past 20 years; the country’s murder rate is 7 times higher than that of the United States of America and 10 times higher than that of India. According to Cronjé private security companies can create the perception that personal safety can be bought and that it is the privilege of the rich. He urges partnerships and coalitions between police, private security companies and communities.



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