South Africa’s crime statistics recently released show that business robberies have considerably increased by 13.7% during the financial year 2013-2014, and this is 461% higher now than it was in 2004/05.
The report also revealed that an additional 2 238 armed attacks on businesses had taken place in 2013-14 compared to the previous year.
These startling figures have shocked the business community, which last week raised an emergency alarm, calling for the government to do something about it.
Annelie Smith, corporate executive at Risk Benefit Solutions (RBS), said her organisation has specifically witnessed an increase in claims from retailers, particularly as a result of armed robberies.
RBS is one of the leading independent insurance and risk company specialist in this Southern African nation of 50 million people.
“Criminals are increasingly targeting retail stores, especially for white goods such as TV sets, cameras, jewelery, upmarket clothing items and so on.
“And they don’t seem to care how they obtain the products. This has resulted in a rising trend of armed robberies, as opposed to overnight break-ins.”
Smith also said her company has noticed a rise in claims from smaller pilferage type claims which end up in stock losses over a longer period of time. These losses normally occur as a result of individuals stealing directly off the shelves in the shop, she explained.
A furious Smith this week called for a change of mindsets in South Africa.
Unfortunately no matter the measures businesses put in place, these occurrences would continue to occur until there is a change of mindset in the country, she said.
“With the country’s current poverty levels, there are many poor individuals and syndicates that make profits out of stolen goods, and this is sadly unlikely to improve in the foreseeable future.”
Despite boasting the continent’s second-largest economy behind Nigeria, poverty still lingers and is believed to hover around 45%.
Photo: Africa Check