In the weeks which have passed since South Africa moved to Level 2 lockdown, the real devastation of the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our country has started to rear its ugly head.

The list of atrocities is endless, from farm murders, home invasions, gender based violence, and attacks on joggers, to name but a few, the crimes on the people of South Africa is rapidly on the increase. 

The latest crime statistics released by SAPS shows that there has been a dramatic increase in farm attacks for example, and there has been an enormous amount of media attention, and rightly so on these vicious crimes. A total of 128 farm attacks have been reported in the first six months of 2020. This time last year, the number was just 13, meaning that rural crimes have surged ten-fold. Farmers living in rural areas are unfortunately more vulnerable than most, making them an easier target. The sad reality is that Farmers are the backbone of the source of food production within South Africa, but desperation by those who may have lost their jobs due to a downturn in the economy have turned to crime  for their own survival.

Those South African’s who exercise outdoors, especially women, have been warned to be constantly alert whilst going for a walk or run. Nick Bester, former Comrades Marathon Champion was recently attacked whilst out running near his home in Magaliesburg. It is incomprehensible that those wanting to exercise outdoors cannot seemingly do so without fear or trepidation when exiting the front door of their home. 

Home invasion robberies are also on the increase. Concerningly these crimes are often of a violent nature and can occur at any time of the day.  In many cases criminals prefer to attack when the occupants are at home, or arriving and or leaving their premises as this is when home alarms are inactive. 

South Africa is on the precipice of an economic and socio-economic disaster which has no end in sight. Whilst government corruption has been in the spotlight, and rightly so,  those impoverished within our country remain desperate and often destitute, which in turn often leads them into a life of crime because there are no alternatives available to them. 

The covid-19 pandemic is not the only pandemic South Africa now faces. The road ahead is going to be long, and if we are realistic it is going to take many years before our country will recover. South Africa has overcome many adversities, and with the right measures in place, this pandemic too shall pass.

Author – Kate Bailey – Hill

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