SURVEY SHOWS CACADU DISTRICT SCORES WORST IN SA CRIME RATE: WEEKEND POST

Stevenson lodges urgent plea for re-establishment of narcotics unit

SOUTH Africans stand more chance of being murdered in the Eastern Cape’s Cacadu district than in any other in the country – making the large rural region the country’s “murder capital”.

This was revealed in startling statistics released this week by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR). These also show that in terms of crime as measured by municipal districts in each province, South Africans have the highest likelihood of being murdered in the Eastern Cape.

Cacadu comprises 10 municipalities which include the Camdeboo, Sundays River, Baviaans and Kouga municipalities, as well as large, popular towns such as Jeffreys Bay, Grahamstown, Graaff-Reinet and Port Alfred.

Reacting to the latest survey, the DA in the Eastern Cape has demanded an investigation into crime in the district. Linking the high murder rate to drug-related crime statistics, the DA has also called for the re-establishment of a police narcotics unit.

The SAIRR, a leading think-tank that produces research, policy critiques and risk analysis for a range of entities, produced the massive national Crime and Security Survey from a number of sources, including data provided by the South African Police Services and Statistics South Africa.

The survey, while in part based on data accumulated between 1993 and 2009, represents the most up-to-date overview of crime and security in the country and is directed at highlighting trends over more than a decade.

Crimes listed range from murder to aggravated robbery and drug and sex-related crimes per 100 000 people. They show the Cacadu District Municipality scored 73.2, the highest of any district municipality in the country.

By comparison, Johannesburg which has a reputation of being one of the world’s most dangerous cities, scored just 38.5.

With the exception of every district municipality in the Western Cape, Cacadu was rated higher than any other district in the country for drug-related crimes.

In terms of murder, the Eastern Cape shows the highest likelihood of a person being killed and was rated at 47.4 per 100 000, while KwaZuluNatal was placed in second position with a rating of 45,7.

According to the survey, the province where one is least likely to be murdered is Limpopo where the Mopani and Vhembe municipal districts have the lowest likelihood. With the exception of drug-related crimes, people living in the Eastern Cape’s Alfred Nzo district are likely to be least affected by crime in comparison to other districts in the province. Business and residential robberies are exceptionally low there.

Nationally, and as a proportional statistic, the survey put South Africa’s murder rate at 34.1 per 100 000 people. The country’s murder rate has been substantially reduced since 2003 when the rate was listed as 43.7 per 100 000 people.

By comparison to 35 other countries listed in one segment of the survey which compares international murder rates between 2003 and 2008, South Africa has by far the highest murder rate proportional to population size.

Eastern Cape DA leader Bobby Stevenson described the survey results as “alarming” and called for a Safety and Security Department investigation into the murder rate and the re-introduction of a police antinarcotics unit.

“The survey results will come as a shock to many people. We will be calling for an investigation into the situation in Cacadu.”

Stevenson said the survey showed that drug and alcohol abuse rather than just poverty could be causes of the high murder rate there.

He said the Liquor Board should also take note of the statistics and take action against illegal taverns.

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