Use Your Sociological Imagination to Reflect on the Level of Crime Rate in Any African Country. What Social Factors Do You Think Might Be Responsible for This Phenomenon?

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The probability of being a victim to criminal activity has been the unfortunate reality for many South African’s for decades. The South African Police Service released statistics that estimate the reported number of crimes in South Africa at 2 071 487 during 2011 and 2012. Based on these statistics it is deducible that there are especially high rates of miscellaneous types of crime throughout the country although the type rifest in South Africa is property theft and sexual assault. This essay will aim to give indications, using sociological imagination, as to what social factors could be responsible for the high levels of crime, specifically property theft and sexual assault, in contemporary South Africa. The year 2012 was a mere eighteen years after the end to apartheid which burdened millions of South African people of colour in that it limited the opportunity for the majority them to receive an education or acquire occupation in professions other than skilled labour. Unfortunately the legacy of apartheid is still felt today as an estimated 50% of the South African population live in poverty. David Jones advocates that individuals who have poor education, are unemployed and live in poverty are more disposed to turn to crime as a means to make a living. This theory correlates with the fact that the most common crime committed in South Africa is property theft and the fact that the provinces with the highest crime rates - Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape - are also the provinces with the highest rate of poverty. Many South Africans living without employment or economic emancipation turn to property theft in order to make money and sustain themselves through acquiring basic needs. Due to the fact that crime is one the manifestations of poverty, the widespread poverty in South Africa undoubtedly causes the high crime rates. South African companies are now more than ever adamant in the requirement of an NSC Matric pass as a bare necessity for...
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