Econ­omy weak­ened by on­go­ing crime

The Herald (South Africa) - - Opinion & Analysis -

It is the most nor­mal thing to do – a story breaks, jour­nal­ists go to the scene to cover it. The last thing on any­one’s mind is whether the team sent out will ac­tu­ally make it out of the sit­u­a­tion un­scathed. The events of Wed­nes­day – when a re­porter and pho­tog­ra­pher from The Her­ald were vic­tims of a rob­bery by three knife-wield­ing men in New Brighton – were a stark re­minder yet again of the ab­nor­mal­ity un­der which we live as a city and as a na­tion. Iron­i­cally, the pair had gone out to cover the story of an el­derly woman who was bru­tally beaten in her New Brighton home in broad day­light, in a sense­less crime that again demon­strates the worst of our city.

As a news­pa­per, we have lost count of how many times our teams have been robbed or hi­jacked while on as­sign­ment in dif­fer­ent parts of this city this year alone. Of course these at­tacks are not unique to us. Scores of em­ploy­ees from var­i­ous com­pa­nies in our city have been on the re­ceiv­ing end of such crim­i­nal­ity, at times with fa­tal con­se­quences.

Be it those de­liv­er­ing goods, build­ing in­fra­struc­ture or fix­ing pipe­lines, work­ers who go out to earn an hon­est liv­ing are too of­ten at the mercy of sav­age thugs con­stantly on the prowl for their next vic­tim.

This news­pa­per has re­ported, time and again, how mu­nic­i­pal staff, for ex­am­ple, in­clud­ing their se­cu­rity per­son­nel, have of­ten been at­tacked, when re­spond­ing to call-outs in cer­tain parts of town.

The im­pact of this on these in­di­vid­u­als, their well­be­ing and their fam­i­lies is enor­mous.

On a broader scale, the im­pact on the com­pa­nies and en­ti­ties in­volved is ex­ten­sive.

As it is, ours is a city with an econ­omy that bat­tles to cre­ate mean­ing­ful, sus­tain­able jobs.

Many com­pa­nies are barely keep­ing afloat and the added costs brought by ef­fects of such law­less­ness may just be the fi­nal nail in the cof­fin.

It is per­haps time for lo­cal busi­nesses to have a mean­ing­ful con­ver­sa­tion that seeks to find ef­fec­tive strate­gies against crime be­yond con­ven­tional polic­ing meth­ods.

Our econ­omy de­pends on it.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.