Thoughts on South African and international politics and culture

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Some good news...
Two pieces of good news came over the weekend, on our economic progress and on crime.

The first was the announcement from Stats SA that the formal sector created 107000 non-farming jobs in the fourth quarter of last year, a result of the strong economic growth over the past few years. Most of these jobs were added in the retail and financial services sectors, and despite the obvious lack of satisfaction from Cosatu, this is a good endorsement for Government's macro-economic policies.

The second was the announcement that the SAPS is likely to start publishing local and regional crime figures. I think this is a grossly belated but critical step in the management of crime in South Africa. First of all, it provides a platform of trust between Government and the people, who have constantly been shown only a secretive policy on crime. Secondly, it gives NGO's and ordinary South Africans an idea of real increases in crime, thus hopefully going some way to dispel perceptions problems. Finally - and most importantly - information is critical in fighting crime. Finding shifts in crime patterns and determining antecedents can make a real difference, as highlighted during Guilianni's mayoral terms with his extensive use of Comptroller data.