Just The Facts

South Africa’s Violent Crime Problem

Decades after Apartheid, violence remains an unresolved obstacle to the country’s success.

Takeaways


  • Decades after Apartheid, violence remains an unresolved obstacle to South Africa's success.
  • South Africa stands among the top ten murder rates worldwide and fourth-ranked in absolute numbers.

1. Violent crime has declined since the end of Apartheid in 1994, but South Africa still faces one of the highest murder rates in the world.

2. South Africa stands among the top ten murder rates worldwide and fourth-ranked in absolute numbers.

3. South Africa’s murder rate is estimated to be nine times higher than that of the United States.

4. There have been half a million murders committed since 1994, including many thousands of children.

5. In the final nine-month stretch of 2016, there were more than 14,000 homicides.

6. In addition, the South African Police Service says that 2.1 million “serious crimes” were reported in their 2016/17 period.

7. Some cities saw double-digit percentage increases in the number of crimes reported that year.

8. Targets include white landowners, who still overwhelmingly control South Africa’s farmable land (over 70%) decades after Apartheid.

9. They have been murdered or attacked as continued racial resentments merge with crime moving beyond the cities.

10. The attacks on white landowners in particular contribute to negative perceptions by foreign investors, but also speak to a need for further efforts to combat old inequalities.

11. Jacob Zuma, the recently ousted president, hinted he sympathized with or at least understood the motives of attacks on the white landowner elite.

12. His successor, Cyril Ramaphosa, in his first major speech endorsed land redistribution without compensation, if production levels are maintained. Supporters of that policy argue, “The time for compensation is over; now is the time for justice.”

Sources: UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Institute of Race Relations, The Herald (South Africa), Business Tech (South Africa), Welt, The Globalist Research Center

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