In what some politicians have described as a “war zone,” the murder rate in South Africa has risen to 49 every day—averaging out at 2 every hour, statistics released by the police in that country have revealed.
According to the report “Crime Statistic of Republic of South Africa” issued by the South African Police Service (SAPS), 17,805 people were killed in the 12 months between April 2014 and March 2015.
This reflects an increase of 4.6 percent over the previous year, when 17,023 murders took place.
The province of Gauteng, which includes the world-known cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, registered the highest percentage increase in the murder rate, some 10.4 percent. In 2014/2015, 3,671 people were murdered in that province, up by 346 murders from the 2013/2014 period.
The eastern seaboard province of KwaZulu-Natal registered the highest number of murders with a total of 3,810. That province has registered the highest number of murders per annum for the last ten years.
“17,805 is a number I would expect from a country at war,” said Dianne Kohler Barnard, shadow police minister of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.
Armed robberies, carjacking, and burglaries also increased, showing the country “lacks clear strategies to reverse this dangerous trend,” Gareth Newham, of the Institute for Security Studies thinktank, told media.
“That robberies have increased raises questions about the extent to which police resources are being effectively used. With some of the best technology in the world, and more than 194,000 personnel, the South African police service should be better able to reduce crimes such as robbery.”
More than 50,000 sexual offences were reported to South African police last year, but the number of sexual victims willing to report these crimes has dropped by 21 percent from 2011 to 2014, according to a survey carried out by Statistics South Africa.
This is largely due to increasing levels of corruption and mistrust in the authorities, a phenomena which is common to many Third World countries.