In the mid-1990s, two high-profile corporate-sponsored business campaigns

against crime emerged in South Africa – The Nedcor Project on Crime, Violence

and Investment, and Business Against Crime (BAC). Through such campaigns,

the private sector became consciously and collectively involved in restructuring

state crime control practices and policies. This was achieved primarily by offering

assistance to government for the transformation of the SAPS (South African Police

Service) into a ‘better trained and equipped police force’ (Nedcor August 1995,

4). Business supported an enhanced police capacity for rapid response through its

donation of 100 BMWs toward a special anti-hijacking highway patrol unit that had

as one of its focal concerns sophisticated crime syndicates that targeted high-end

or luxury vehicles. Industry provided government with technical expertise, which

facilitated access to the latest technological advances, such as CCTV and cellphone

networks, that were used for surveillance and crime detection within key commercial

districts, but also served the purpose of upgrading police services in underprivileged

communities. The private sector promoted discourses of numeracy and the extension

of market disciplines to criminal justice agencies: the introduction of performance

indicators and business plans at (police) station level, which established a degree

of consonance between the broad programmatic objectives of accountability,

transparency and efficiency, and more concrete strategies for the allocation of scarce

operational resources; the development of a ‘reliable’ crime information system to

chart the specific characteristics of crime as an object to be governed – its spatial

coordinates, trends, costs. At the same time, these business-sponsored anti-crime

initiatives revealed that industry also assumed some degree of responsibility for the

routine management of its own security risks and needs especially in relation to

economic crime.