“The government must fight crime and corruption, and citizens must hold them accountable,” said Yusuf Abramjee, head of news at Primedia speaking at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) Annual Convention.
He explained that active citizenry can play an important role in overcoming the obstacles that hinder foreign direct investment from entering the country.
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“Our philosophy should be based on what ordinary South Africans can do to fight crime since it stops investors from coming to the country,” he said.
“We as South Africans need to fight the scourge or else we are in serious trouble. We must take the lead and become active citizens in whatever we do.”
Another problem is that there are not many large businesses assisting in combating crime.
“The corporate world doesn’t want to take part in the fight against crime because of the negativity around the issue.”
“Corporate social investment is no longer the exception, it is now the rule.”
For instance, there has been a recent spate of mall robberies across South Africa where electronic goods are being stolen and sold to other parts of Africa.
Abramjee believes that large corporates that have been affected by the robberies should be working alongside government in solving these crimes.
“Crime knows no borders; stolen goods end up in other African countries in a matter of days and this affects investment and the future of the South African economy,” he said.
“If corporates say that they don’t have the budget to help fight crime, then surely they must be benefitting from it?”
On a positive note however, he added that South Africa’s Crime Line, which he heads up, has been a ground-breaking initiative as it allows members of the public to make anonymous SMS tip-offs on suspected crimes at any time of the day.
According to an interview conducted with Abramjee by SouthAfrica.info, the Crime Line has given a voice to millions of South Africans out there by giving them a platform to blow the whistle on crime.
“Whistle blowing is playing an important part in fighting crime. Around 80 per cent of crimes are solved through anonymous tip-offs.”