BAC has received R1,33 million from SAIA to combat vehicle theft and hijackings

Zweli Mokgata

Zweli Mokgata

Business Against Crime (BAC) has received a huge cash injection from the South African Insurance Association (SAIA), but obser-vers say that law enforcement alone will not stop rampant crime.

SAIA yesterday handed over a cheque for R1,33 million to BAC as a contribution to tackle the country's spiralling vehicle theft .

"We are excited about this cheque. The levels of crime in this country are unacceptable," said BAC chief executive Siphiwe Nzimande.

Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) managing director Linda McClure said that though the country's law enforcement needed improvement, the most effective strategy would be to look at prevention of crime.

"We need to get young people thinking differently about their roles in society at an early stage. They often end up going into crime because they don't have the motivation and the tools to look for other options," McClure said.

SAIA chief executive Barry Scott said that there was some improvement in the levels of vehicle crime over the past five years, but that last year saw a spike in the number of car thefts and hijackings.

"In the 2001-02 period incidents of car-related crimes were more than 95000, but this has gradually come down to less than 85 000 in the 2004-05 period," Scott said.

"But in the 2005-06 period this number ticked up to almost 86000."

BAC has implemented several initiatives in partnership with the police and the government to improve law enforcement and streamline justice dispensation, said Nzimande.

"We have an initiative called the basic line system that looks at the processes within justice departments that could make it easier to work with the other elements within the chain, such as police and correctional services," he said.

"In my experience, young people go into a life of crime as a career choice," McClure said.

"If we give young people the business, entrepreneurial and life skills we would see a tremendous decrease in all forms of crime."