Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) president Zingiswa Losi said on Wednesday that as the recent crime statistics painted a bleak picture, there is no exaggeration that the country is under siege by the rampant levels of crime.
She was addressing delegates at the Policing Indaba, held by the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru), in Johannesburg.
Losi referenced the quarterly crime statistics, which showed that 31 police officers were killed in the line of duty between April and June.
She stated that Cosatu understood the damage done to the moral fabric of society by the violence that had wreaked havoc owing to the decades of apartheid legacy, adding to the ills in South Africa.
“South Africa has never healed from the past,” she said.
Losi warned that society had normalised violence so much that she claimed that half of South African women and girls would be raped or assaulted in their lifetimes, while only a few of their perpetrators would ever see the inside of a prison.
She said the country must resolve its fundamental socioeconomic ills, such as youth unemployment and the rising levels of poverty.
“Government and the private sector must resolve these fundamentals. No matter how powerful the police is, they cannot resolve the 42% levels of unemployment,” she stated.
She said Cosatu had also been raising concerns about the declining numbers of police officers, as alluded to by Popcru president Zizamele Cebekhulu.
“Whist we welcome the recruitment of the 10 000 police officers this year and 5 000 next year, this is too little to keep the pace with annual attrition rate,” she said.
She said Popcru was showing leadership by convening the Indaba which was seeking solutions to advance the interests of the working class.