MEDIA STATEMENT: New BACSA to become a unified, powerful force for Business to collaborate with Government in the fight against crime and corruption
POSTED ON: February 4, 2024 IN by Admin
- BACSA confirmed as the primary point of contact for Business interaction with government on crime and corruption through government structures, including the National Priority Crime Operational Committee (NPCOC)
- New BACSA board and CEO appointed to entrench governance and to support delivery of key workstreams
Johannesburg 5 February 2024 – Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) is entering an important phase of its development as a vehicle to deliver Business for South Africa’s (B4SA) initiatives aimed at mitigating crime and corruption. This comes amid estimates that crime costs the economy at least 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually, according to a recently published World Bank Report.
Established in 1996 in response to a request from then President Nelson Mandela for Business to join Government in the fight against crime, BACSA has supported Government’s anti-crime efforts across the Criminal Justice System and with businesses large and small across the country.
BACSA operated as a division of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) since 1 June 2020 until recently, but has now been established as a separate legal entity following BLSA board approval. This paves the way for BACSA to become the primary point of contact for the Government’s interaction with B4SA’s Crime and Corruption focal area, which is co-chaired by Sibanye Stillwater CEO Neal Froneman and Remgro CEO Jannie Durand. The joint initiative between Business and Government will be operationalised through the National Priority Crimes Operational Committee (NPCOC).
Commensurate with BACSA’s change in status anew board was appointed. Dr Graham Wright was also officially appointed CEO on 1 November 2023, bringing a wealth of experience in crime risk mitigation, including previous experience as CEO of BACSA between 2009 and 2012.
Commenting on his return to BACSA, Dr Wright said: “It is a privilege for me to lead organisationas it is set to become a more unifying and powerful force in the fight against crime and corruption. We have a clear vision to urgently reassert the primacy of the rule of law by supporting authorities to actively tackle rampant crime and corruption. We will do this by leveraging business resources and expertise to help create a safer South Africa and restoring public and investor confidence in the country.”
Joining Messrs Froneman and Durand on the new BACSA board are BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso, Business Unity South Africa CEO Cas Coovadia, Pick n Pay Chairman Gareth Ackerman and Standard Bank South Africa CEO Lungisa Fuzile, all of whom will play crucial roles in guiding BACSA’s strategy and ensuring its success. The organisation will continue to rely on BLSA for administrative support and will remain located in BLSA’s offices for the foreseeable future.
BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso said: “While the scale of crime and corruption in South Africa may make any victory seem inconsequential, BACSA, while a division of BLSA, accomplished an enormous amount in partnership with the private sector and members of the Criminal Justice System, often under the most difficult of circumstances. Much of this was made possible by BLSA members and other private sector donors. I know I speak on their behalf when I say we look forward to seeing BACSA play an even greater role in rooting out crime and corruption in South Africa.”
Some of the work undertaken by BACSA in recent years includes projects aimed at capacitating the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), an initiative to tackle the rapid increase in the so-called construction mafia around the country and the highly successful Eyes and Ears Initiative. Progress has also been made in the capacity enhancement of state agencies through the provision of specialist skills and resources resident in Business and typically not readily accessible to these state agencies.
The primary goals of the new BACSA are to strengthen collaboration and partnerships between the business sector and government agencies in addressing priority crimes; optimise existing Business anti-crime efforts; scale the extensive work already underway across sectors and mobilise the broader support and involvement in anti-crime efforts across society. The organisation will continue to leverage business information, expertise, and resources to support priority initiatives of the NPCOC which focus on serious organized and commercial crime and serious corruption.
BACSA will continue to build on the success of its Eyes and Ears initiative, which relies on collaboration with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Private Security Industry (PSI) to coordinate operational responses to crime. This work has averted numerous incidents of crime and resulted in hundreds of arrests and the recovery of stolen vehicles, amongst other successes.
Notes to Editors
The Joint Initiative on Crime and Corruption (JICC) has been established as a formal partnership, led by the President, between Government and Organised Business to co-ordinate and monitor the delivery of joint initiatives under the auspices of the National Priority Crime Operational Committee (NPCOC).
The Eyes and Ears (E2) Initiative was established in 2019 as a joint venture between BACSA, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and willing private security companies to coordinate operational crime fighting efforts. During the 2021 riots E2 was used to disseminate information on the ground to the authorities and it also played a critical role during the 2022 KZN floods assisting affected communities.
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