stating it either way would be a generalisation. WHen I was a lawyer in practise, I used to go down to court for civil matters, when I had time I would go down to the criminal courts. A lot of people I saw were being tried for shoplifting. A very common offense. A lot fo these were simple food items.
Some people get involved in crime because they need the money and there are no jobs. Some people start off like this and then get addicted to the adrenalin and the quick cash. then some go straight into it for the adrenalin, the rep and the cash! These are the dangerous guys.
Some people would still do crime if they had a job available to them, but others wouldn't...IMO...I would say that in SOuth Africa at present, the larger portion of criminals probably wouldnt stop perpetrating crime if they had jobds offered to them. The risk/reward ratio is in favour of a life of crime.
I agree that most S African criminals make easy money stealing than they would if they had "proper" jobs. My half brother who is 38 has never worked in his entire life. He quit school at STD 2, he can barely tell the difference between a credit card and a student card. He's basically lived off crime all his freakin life. And even though he wants to change his life around, he has no other way of making the same money he makes from stealing. His options are only limited to hard labour. Now that's the reason why he left school in the first place, to have it easy!
The serious problem however is the organised sindicates. Some of the members to such sindicates are well educated and some even have day jobs -some are active SAPS members, speciallising in heists, hijackings and bank roberries! One such cop was found on the scene of an attempted hijacking. He was wounded by the victim's gunshots. The funny part is that he used his service pistol to shoot at the victim and had his police badge and all, how stupid can one get!
And then there's the armed robbers cum rapists cum crack heads. Those are ussually the hardcore gangster type that will shoot at you just for staring. They used to terrorise communities in the townships but now seemed to have moved to the townhouse complexes/surburbs and inner city flats. These are the most dangerous as they don't value human life. To them it's more about power than money. This type kills elderly farmers, rape young girls and elderly women. Unfortunately this type is in the majority