South Africa tries to combat its endemic high levels of violence

The cost of violence to the South African economy is among the highest in the world. The country is in126th place out of 163 countries in the Global Peace Index. This index shows us that the cost of South African violence amounts to 19% of the GDP, the 16th highest in the world (34,160 rand per citizen each year).

South Africa stands out in the five main violence-related categories: the number of violent crimes, the number of violent protests, the number of murders, easy access to weapons and an elevated perception of insecurity. It is the 10th worst country regarding the general reduction of violence and 19th if we refer to security in general.

Both the data provided by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the data provided by the Crime Survey (VOCS) reveal that levels of violence have remained high, with relatively insignificant variations. During the budget period from April 2015 to March 2016, 18,673 murders and 18,127 attempted murders were recorded. Furthermore, the police were aware of 259,165 cases related to drug trafficking.

The underlying problem is that the long years of apartheid with institutionalised violence have contributed to its becoming prevalent in society, which uses it to resolve any situation as a completely normal approach.

The National Development Plan wishes to improve conditions of violence with an objective to be met in 2030. This plan aims to build safe communities, regarding security as a basic human right. The plan involves physical security and the social dimension, such as employment, education and health, and aims to put an end to the culture of violence, making it very residual and undesirable.

The community dimension is central to the plan and, therefore, local governments have an important role, as they are the closest administrations to the general public. These have a central position in the coordination and integration of policies in order to create secure communities.

Community Security Forums are created (CSF) on a local scale. This organ is where coordination, monitoring and the integration of community prevention initiatives will take place. The objective is to guarantee quality services and create secure communities. These strategies are done in coordination with the different agencies of local and state administrations.

Improvements in economic development with equity will cause, according to the plan, an economic transformation, the creation of employment and improvements in education and healthcare, and will assist social cohesion. And this will all have a positive effect on insecurity, generating more security.

The final objective is that in 2030 South African citizens will feel more secure and will not be afraid of being a victim of crime. This security will have to be present at school, at work and in other community-related fields.

Link of interest:

What is the situation in South Africa?


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