Investec, a bank that focuses on high-net-worth individuals in South Africa, will spend just over R2 million a year on each of its executive directors’ personal security as crime in the country surges.
A resolution on the cover was approved by shareholders at the lender’s annual general meeting Thursday. The directors previously paid for security from their salaries, according to the bank.
“The personal security arrangements are something which we feel we need to put in place for the executives based in South Africa,” Henrietta Baldock, chairwoman of the bank’s remuneration committee, said at the AGM.
The measure was introduced “given that they are high profile, and given the number of other examples that are around of high-profile business people and other people being targeted.”
South African crime data published by the government shows that kidnappings more than doubled in the three months through March to 3,306 incidents, while the number of sexual offences increased by 14% to 13,799.
The rape of eight women last week in an area outside Johannesburg triggered protests in parts of the country, which also suffers from illegal mining and theft of critical equipment that cripples infrastructure including power supply and rail lines.
By the end of March 2022, carjackings increased by 20%, murder increased by 22%, and assault with intent to harm increased by 18%.
Additionally, each of South Africa’s nine provinces has seen an increase in kidnappings and the economic centre of Gauteng has seen more than 1,500 cases of abduction in the first quarter of the year. That’s almost three times the number of incidents at the same time last year.