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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: ISS Today by Ian Edelstein.]

Each year in September, the South African Police Service (SAPS) releases crime statistics for a 12-month period ending on 31 March, which means the data is five months out of date when it reaches the public. When crime levels increase (as they have this year), headlines lament. When any decreases are seen, these are linked to strategic efforts by the police.

Nationally, murders have risen by 3.4% since 2017-18 and are 35% higher than in 2011-12. The 21 022 murders average out to 58 killings every day across the country. However, these murders are not evenly spread across time and space. Over half (56%) of murders happen on the weekend. Spatially, a small number of police stations bear a disproportionate share of violent crime.

In the latest statistics, the 30 police stations reporting the highest numbers of murders (roughly 3% of all stations) account for 21% of the total. As one example among these, the Greater Khayelitsha area (comprising three police stations – Khayelitsha, Harare and Lingelethu West) experienced an annual murder increase of 20%.

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2019 estimate)
4.1% y/y in March 2020 (CPI) & +4.5 y/y in February 2020 (PPI)
-1.4% q/q (4th quarter of 2019)
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