Cape Town has found itself in the better part of a bad situation. On the one hand, we’re no longer the most violent city in South Africa anymore in terms of murder rates (cue a sigh of relief). On the other hand, some of our violence factors are still way above the national average.
According to the State of Urban Safety in South Africa report, as part of the South African Cities Network, a few revelations were made.
The report, takes a look at South African cities, sizing our biggest municipalities up in comparison to one another based on various elements.
It indicated that Nelson Mandela Bay has overtaken Cape Town in terms of murder rate increases at 60%, while Cape Town stood at 54%.
“Five cities (Buffalo City, Cape Town, eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay and Msunduzi) have a murder rate above the national average of 33.5 murders per 100 000 people, whereas four cities (Johannesburg, Mangaung, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane) have murder rates below the national average,” the report said.
Some may wonder how the murder rate is higher when Nelson Mandela Bay’s population is significantly smaller than Cape Town’s. However, as the report indicates, murder rates are measured by percentage in comparison to the population.
“Cape Town recorded 3074 murders, or three times the 865 murders in Nelson Mandela Bay, but its population is nearly four times higher, giving a murder rate of 67 per 100 000 people compared to 71 per 100 000 for Nelson Mandela Bay,” the report explained.
Despite the overall murder rate dropping slightly for the country, South Africa’s murder levels are “very high by global standards” the report noted, adding that only a handful of countries record murder rates at this level.
The South African Cities Network, a separate report focusing on the state of our 9 major cities and municipalities, said that young men were making up the majority of both victims and perpetrators of crime. It added that the most vulnerable groups in public spaces were women, girls and the LGBTQI+ community.
The lowest murder rate by municipality was afforded to Tshwane.
Ironically, Cape Town also has the highest life expectancy in South Africa.