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Assessing and promoting civil and minority rights in South Africa.

[Source: Politicsweb by Tove van Lennep.]

Murder rose by 6.9% nationally between 2017 and 2018, according to the SAPS Crime Situation Report. The Western Cape was largely responsible, with its 12.6% increase in murders. Of the 3729 murders recorded in the Western Cape, 808 were gang-related.[1]

In response, President Ramaphosa launched the government-led Anti-Gang Unit in November 2018. The force is trained in handling high-risk situations and is composed of personnel from the Tactical Response teams, the Special Task Force and the National Intervention Unit.[2] Police Minister BhekiCele announced a month after the Unit was dispatched that 266 gang strongholds had been searched and 119 arrests had been made.[3] ‘We are taking oxygen out of [gang] life’, Cele said.[4]

Although Cape Town residents are generally pleased with this progress, there has been some criticism around the Unit’s lack of cooperation with local communities. Deputy Chairperson of the Mitchells Plain United Residents Association argued that mass arrests of young men who are, in fact, victims of their circumstances, is not a solution on its own.[5]

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South Africa at a Glance
58 780 000 (mid 2018 estimate)
4.5% y/y in June 2019 (CPI) & +5.8 y/y in June 2019 (PPI)
-3.2% q/q (1st quarter of 2019)
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