Original Research

The opportunity cost of the upkeep of the criminal justice system in South Africa from 1980 to 2006

Pierre de Villiers, Soon Nel
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 13, No 4 | a93 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v13i4.93 | © 2010 Pierre de Villiers, Soon Nel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 August 2010 | Published: 01 December 2010

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Pierre de Villiers, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Soon Nel, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

South African crime rates rose to unacceptably high levels between 1980 and 2006. As a result, vast amounts of funds were devoted to the upkeep of the criminal justice system – correctional services, justice and the police. Although it is necessary to spend a certain amount on the criminal justice system, in South Africa this expenditure was excessive. The excess funds that were spent on the upkeep of the criminal justice system could have covered the cost of financing the entire backlog in schooling facilities and a large part of the current housing shortage.

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