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Why Crime Has Become a Such Worry in South Africa "Mzantsi Africa"

Crime has become a problem that worries Everybody in South Africa because of their safety. James is a Translator and Freelancer writer

A Crime Scene tape, South Africa

A Crime Scene tape, South Africa

SAPS Murders statistic in Cape Town,2018-2019

SAPS Murders statistic in Cape Town,2018-2019

Murders statistic  2005-2019, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Murders statistic 2005-2019, Cape Town and Johannesburg

Everyday people are getting robbed or murdered somewhere in South Africa

1994 Remember, the year of the first democratic election and the Fall of Apartheid in South Africa when Archbishop Desmond Tutu first called South Africa " The Rainbow Nation ", he meant the unity of diverse ethnicity, multicultural of Black, White, Indian and Coloured in one Nation.

That same year, Nelson Mandela was elected the first Black President after half of century of white supremacy administrations and the Apartheid regime.

Today, Desmond Tutu’s “Rainbow Nation” has turned into a hotbed of crime where hundreds of people are robbed and murdered. The problem of crime is growing day after day across the country and every one fears it. In the City of Cape Town and Johannesburg many areas, Law Enforcements are in a battle against criminals for drug smuggling, illegal firearms, and corruption. The activities of crime and violence increase every year.

For six years now, I have read newspapers, viewed websites, listened to the radio and watched television. I have never passed a month without a news talk about a crime across the country. Almost every month somewhere in South Africa a crime is reported by the SAPS or on news media. As crime becomes such a worry everywhere on the streets, towns, roads, townships and suburb the residents of the Cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg are forced to become more aware and vigilant.

In Cape Town crime is more dangerous in many areas of Townships such as Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Langa, Botheweul, Manaberg, Mitchells Plain, Delft, Philip and Cape Flats where residents fear every day they could get robbed of their phones and valuable items even in daylight. In Johannesburg there are many areas such as Soweto, Hillbrow, Diep Sloot and Alexander etc. that have same problem. Police Station’s receive reports or intervene daily to house-breaking, knife assault, rape, gang-rival conflict and shooting, kidnapping, shoplifting or looting.

The announcement came only this year 2022, Mr. Mbeki Cele who is the current SAPS National Minister released a quarter two crime statistics for 2021-2022. it was a shock to the public opinion; These quarter Statistics are far from being compared to the one in past years because is worse.

What causes so much crime in South Africa?

Today, it is most unusual to hear somebody says “I have never been a victim of a crime”. This is a statement that would only come from a criminal. Since the increase in crime rate, South Africa continues to be listed one of the countries with the highest crime rate in Africa and in the world.

Are poverty, drugs and alcohol addiction the cause of crime in the country?

Speaking to people from different areas in South Africa about the cause of crimes, they will give different answer according to how and what they have experienced. SAPS and Expert in crime investigation can have their answers too.

Poverty is a big challenge and problem for the government. It has come about because, in South Africa, the socioeconomic status shows that since the fall of Apartheid in 1994, many people continue to live in poverty to the present day with many unemployed people depending on nothing other than Government Grants called SASSA.

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Are there areas where the crime rate is low?

There are many areas in Cape Town or Johannesburg where you can choose to live depending on your socioeconomic status. In the safer areas where residents do all they can to protect themselves, rental costs are doubled or very expensive.

Generally, when talking about Safety in South Africa, it means: putting cameras, electrical fences, and alarm devices on the premises or having permanent security or Armed response guards to prevent house break-ins and burglaries.

People often prefer to remain indoors to keep safe.

Because of this crime problem, today there are no places in the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg and in smaller towns or public places where there is no presence of security guards and law Enforcement patrols.

Despite the local problem of crime in South Africa continue to remain one of the most beautiful countries to visit and every year it welcome number of visitors from the world.

Do the SAPS have power to stop Crime?

No matter how hard the government works or contributes to protecting people and keeping the country safe, they find no way to stop crime and they don’t except to reduce it.

There is a big problem because many sources including this one from show that communities in South Africa have low trust in the SAPS declared Defense Minister Thandi Modisa. This is the only official department which fights against crime across the country.

The SAPS are working hard day and night with vehicles patrolling the streets and roads to intervene in incidents and emergencies. But the main concern from the communities is that the victim can see his aggressor arrested a few days ago, back on the street, released on bail.

In townships, many community members choose to be quiet rather than accuse a criminal and accept to speak as a witness just because they fear being targeted by criminals. Many have seen witnesses shot and murdered.

The weakness of the law to protect the witness can cause murder, this is a reason many people fear testifying to the police or court, etc.

Loadshedding a Serious problem for safety

Today, it is true load-shedding has become a problem across South Africa. In the dark at night it is more dangerous in the townships where people are victimized on the streets and get robbed.

Many public opinions say to reduce crime in the Nation, the Government has to implement many restrictions and laws against criminals. Without enforcing new laws, it will take years for change.

Word Meaning

SAPS South Africa Police Service

Eskom : The Electricity Supply Commission

Mzantsi Afrika: South Africa in a Xhosa,a local language spoken there

© 2022 James Sherifson

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