Murder cases rise with unemployment in South Africa; 57 killed daily over the last one year

South Africa is not a war zone but 175, 364 people have been killed in the last ten years. According to the Crime Statistics for the 2017/18 financial year released by the South African Police Service (SAPS), 20, 336 people were murdered in the year under review, amounting to 57 murders a day.

The statistics were presented at the South African Parliament on Tuesday by the police’s head of crime research and statistics, Major General Norman Sekhukhune.

According to Sekhukhune, Nyanga township in the Western Cape still has the highest murder rate, while Johannesburg Central police station tops the list of the top 30 police stations when it comes to the number of contact crimes, including murder, rape, attempted murder, assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery, aggravated robbery and sexual assault, reported over the past year.

Sekhukhune said that the South African Police examined the motive behind several murders and established that 973 murders committed in the country during the period measured were gang-related. Research has shown a correlation between unemployment and proliferation of criminal gangs.

Hence, as the number of people without jobs in South Africa continues to grow, risks of criminal activities remain. Unemployment increased to 27.2 percent in the second quarter of 2018. The expanded unemployment rate, which does not take job search into account, was even higher, increasing from 30.9 percent in 2008 to 37.2 percent in 2018. According to Statistics SA, the number of discouraged work-seekers also increased to 2.9 million.

Meanwhile, the Police Ministry will on Thursday and Friday hold a two-day National Summit on Crime and Violence Prevention, in Boksburg, Gauteng. The Summit is themed “Building safer communities through an integrated, developmental approach to crime and violence prevention”.