Tag: statistics

South Africa’s most dangerous cities

National crime statistics offer only cursory indicators to understand crime levels. The second State of Urban Safety report, to be released on Wednesday, offers a city-by-city breakdown and seeks to understand why certain crimes thrive in different urban areas. Once again, Cape Town topped most categories of violent crime.

Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City round out the top three in the list of South Africa’s most dangerous cities.

Compared to eight other cities, the City of Cape Town has the highest rates of murder, robbery and property-related crimes in South Africa, says a new report produced by the Urban Safety Reference Group (USRG), working with the South Africa Cities Network (SALC) and the GIZ-Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) Programme.

The key question is, why? “Cape Town’s urbanisation indicators are moderately serious, with a lower rapid population growth than Johannesburg and Tshwane, and a lower population density than Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni. Its marginalisation factors also compare very well to the other cities: Cape Town boasts the lowest level of poverty (as measured by the Human Development Index), the lowest income inequality, and the second lowest youth unemployment rate,” reads the report.

“An answer may lie in the disproportionate access to alcohol, drugs and firearms, which is more than twice that of any other city.”

The 2017 State of Urban Safety Report breaks down crime statistics in the country’s nine largest urban areas and puts them alongside subjective, social, structural and crime prevention strategies to add deeper insight.

Cities are responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime. The nine urban areas covered in the report are home to approximately 40% of the country’s residents, but they account for 77% of carjackings, 74% of vehicle thefts, 64% of aggravated robberies, 58% of residential robberies and 47% of murders. “These statistics show that cities are places not only of opportunity but also of inequality and high levels of violence and crime,” said SACN CEO Sithole Mbanga and GIZ-VCP programme manager Terence Smith.

The report pointed to key problems in Nelson Mandela Bay. Between 2014/15 and 2015/16 the municipality’s short-term increases in crime appeared worse than any other city. If they continue, interpersonal violent crime could reach Cape Town’s levels. Of the nine cities, Nelson Mandela Bay had the second highest murder rate, third highest robbery rate, and was fourth in assault and sexual offences. A key problem might be the city’s youth unemployment, the highest of any of the measured cities.

While residents reported low levels of fear and experience of crime in Mangaung, the city also has key problems. The report found it had the highest rate of sexual offences and second highest level of serious assault and property-related crime. Manguang and Cape Town were the only cities to record increases in the murder rate in the last decade.

Buffalo City has seen general declines in the crime rates over the last decade, like most cities, but it has problems potentially related to its service deprivation, high levels of informal housing, youth unemployment and income inequality. Buffalo City came in first for assault, second for sexual offences and third for murder.

Gauteng metros again faired surprisingly well. “Compared to the other cities, the City of Johannesburg’s crime rates are low to moderate, except for robbery where it ranks second,” said the report, suggesting the city must focus on reducing robbery, in particular carjacking and residential robbery, which Johannesburg had the highest rates of when the numbers were broken down. Despite the city’s reasonable successes on crime, residents still have “moderately high levels of fear of crime”. The report said Johannesburg’s crime issues are largely related to its lead position in rapid population growth and the effects of urbanisation and inequality. The city had the highest level of income inequality among the nine measured.

Ekhurhuleni’s challenges mirror Johannesburg’s. It had comparatively low rates of most crimes, but robbery was dominant and the city ranks second to Johannesburg in both population density and income inequality. “The City of Tshwane has the lowest murder, assault and recorded sexual offences rates of all the cities,” said the report. However, it still featured significant rates of robbery and non-violent property crime. Tshwane came in second after Johannesburg in terms of population growth, which could cause crime problems if poorly managed.

Crimes and the experience of crime are not the same within a city and one of the 2017 State of Urban Safety Report’s strongest points is its analysis on three hotspots – Johannesburg’s Hillbrow, eThekwini’s KwaMashu and Cape Town’s Philippi East. Each area has disproportionately high levels of crime compared to their cities and effective strategies in such hotspots could help reduce a city’s overall crime.

One of the most interesting results from interviews in the three hotspot areas is that residents significantly limit their involvement in public life and economic activity because of their fear of crime. In interviews, around 40% of respondents s from Hillbrow, KwaMashu and Philippi east said they are scared of running a business from home, passing forest or bushy areas, or letting their children play outside because of their fear of crime.

Interviews in the three areas revealed there are six core factors across the hotspots that lead to rampant crime:

There’s a lack of people who can deter offenders from committing crimes, such as police, security or community members;
Offenders’ obviously have their own motives;
They can isolate and target a victim;
They have access to weapons or transport to commit a crime;
There’s a dearth of close contacts who can convince someone not to commit a crime;
And, neglected spaces with poor infrastructure are more prone to crime.
“South African cities face a myriad of cross-cutting factors that drive violence and crime, including rapid population growth, social incoherence (family disruption), poverty, income inequality, (youth) unemployment and substance abuse,” reads the report.
It says South African cities do have progressive policies to combat crime, but it makes a number of recommendations.

The report says all city service delivery plans must take into account crime and safety issues. Plans shouldn’t just involve communities but all spheres of government, civil society and the business sector. It recommends that SAPS precincts align their boundaries to municipal demarcations. The level of crime data collected from cities must improve to inform policy planning and cities must allocate sufficient resources to improving safety and leveraging their efficiencies.

By Greg Nicolson for Daily Maverick

The stats of the nation

In the midst of all the chaos and depression around us, we must appreciate the fact that we have still been able to keep some world-class institutions running. One of these is Stats SA, which is right up there with its international peers. Regular visits to its website will show you why that is: the amount, depth and breadth of information is quite something.

In the past few days, three critical pieces of information from Stats SA were drowned out by the ugly, rotten politics. They all related to issues that are key to the lives of South Africans: crime, governance and jobs.

Crime is higher than ever

The first one, titled Exploring the Extent of and Circumstances Surrounding Housebreaking/ Burglary and Home Robbery, looked at these crimes that terrify South African citizens. It noted that, although the proportion of households experiencing this crime that “violates our private space and the one place that we think of as our sanctuary” has been on the decline for five years, public perceptions were the opposite.

Differentiating home robbery (a break-in while the family is there) from housebreaking (burglary), the report says the former “fuels fear in communities, because it puts people at risk of personal injury and emotional trauma in their homes, where they should feel safest”.

Then came the really frightening part, which painted an appalling picture of the arrest and conviction rates.

“An arrest is made in only one out of every five reported cases of housebreaking or home robbery. Only one in five people arrested for housebreaking was convicted, and one in three people arrested for home robbery was convicted,” it stated.

Unacceptable vacancy rates

The second report, The Non-financial Census of Municipalities, contains some disturbing information about the vacancy rates in municipalities that cannot afford to be short of service-delivery personnel. Overall, the vacancy rate jumped from 13.3% in 2015 to 14.4% in 2016. Last year, the most affected areas in terms of unfilled vacancies were environmental protection at 26.1%, road transport at 22.3% and wastewater management at 19.9%. What was worrying was that only health – at 10.9% – had a vacancy rate of less than 12%. Crucial functions such as electricity (13.7%), water (13.6%) and finance (12.9%) had unacceptable vacancy rates.

Such high vacancy rates when positions are fully funded affect service delivery and increase the reliance on outside consultants, the report noted. By way of illustration, it pointed out that in Vryheid – which experienced a severe drought in the year in question and had to employ water tankers – the vacancy rate is 30.5%. Rustenburg’s wastewater management stood at a staggering 69%. Road transport, which is often the cause of community grievance, turned up some alarming numbers. In Mangaung, 74% of vacant posts were unfilled and Masilonyana (also in the Free State) stood at 69%. Although the vacancy rate in electricity came down from 20.2% to 13.7% last year, it is still considered high.

Unemployment crisis

The third was the release of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey, which revealed that South Africa’s unemployment rate now stood at 27.7% – its highest since 2003. Ironically, this was in the quarter in which 144 000 new jobs were created in the economy, a number offset by the entry of 433 000 jobseekers. The survey said 58% of these new jobseekers were between 18 and 34 years of age, thus pushing the youth unemployment rate to 38.6%.

The unemployment rate among those without matric was 33.1%, while among graduates, it was 7.3%. If you use the expanded definition of unemployment by including those who have just given up on looking for work, the figure goes to 36.4%, almost a 10% increase. And if you want it in raw figures, we are talking about 9.3 million South Africans who cannot find work.

Why, I hear you ask, are we talking about such seemingly mundane matters when there are so many more fascinating subjects, such as Duduzane’s complicated love life and the saucy pictures that dropped into his inbox? Why should we be concerned about boring issues when there is such scintillating stuff in the political world – from emails to motions of no confidence and a president who threatens his executive not to “push him too far”?

Well, it is because these are the issues that should be consuming us. In a society that is serious about solving problems, the content of these reports would spell crisis in capital letters. A citizenry that lives in constant fear in a free country is not enjoying its freedom.

Municipalities and government departments that deprive residents of quality services because they are unable to fill vacancies are also depriving people of the tangible fruits of freedom.

The same can be said with regard to the unemployment crisis, which deprives families and individuals of a decent standard of living.

There has to come a time when these are the big issues on the minds of South Africans, both in the state and outside of government.

But then, as the Zuma/Gupta mafia is busy plundering, the country has no choice but to be consumed by their criminal behaviour.

By Mondli Makhanya for News24

Everyone is online, so why aren’t you?

We’ve been told for nearly a decade now that this is the digital age – a golden time of instant information.

Smartphones, tablets and desktops are everywhere and the role of traditional media and content sharing has rapidly changed in the age of the internet-driven 24-hour news and social media sharing.

A global trend, South Africa is on track and seeing rapid changes in how readers consume information.
The days of mass-market print publications are declining and we are looking at a new era from print to digital and beyond.

According to We Are Social’s Digital in 2017 report, an average South African spends a significantly longer portion of their day engaging with digital than with any other medium.

Effective Measure’s November 2016 statistics, based on 331,042 online surveys completed by local internet users, reveal the same trend when comparing digital to print or even radio and TV.

Nearly everyone is online. For the consumer, we can take news anywhere with us in the world and are connected to and by technology throughout the day. Digital media also allows companies to reach the right audience at their convenience and create lasting experiences with customers. Having a finger on the digital versus print pulse allows a company to transform itself in step with consumers’ changing habits.

“There’s no doubt that it’s time to fully embrace the digital age” says the CEO of AutoTrader South Africa, George Mienie. “We launched our magazine in 1992 and our website in 1998, and it was in 2008 that we realised our magazine had a shelf-life. The internet was developing so fast, and the possibilities of what could be done online were so vast.” AutoTrader, the number one motoring marketplace in South Africa, is one of the businesses who have made the transition from print to digital successfully. This week they announced they had printed the final issue of their magazine & are fully digital.

To put the power of the internet into perspective, compared to the 1,4 million magazines AutoTrader sold in 2006, in 2016 the website had over 50 million visits, and the company sent over 3 million leads connecting serious car buyers and sellers. One magazine could host 8 – 10,000 cars in total. Today 68,000 cars are listed at any one time on the website.

The move from print to digital should never be taken lightly and should be right for your company. The journey from analog and print to digital can be hazardous, regardless of what industry, technology, product, or service your company is in. Just ask industry giants like Kodak or Financial Times who also struggled for years in transforming. AutoTrader’s full digital move was a result of 10 years of research and monitoring of changing consumer preference.

“We put it in our car buying customers hands … by creating two unique sets of telephone response numbers, one printed in the magazine and the other on the website. We then knew whether our users were responding via the magazine or the website, and through tracking it month-by-month we could see how quickly their preference was changing,” says Mienie. Tracking changes in customer behaviour is key for online success. As the only niche vertical that is transparent with the sellers contact details they have seen that consumers want to be more and more anonymous with more than 50% of car buyers taking the address of their site and going directly to a dealership without calling or mailing first.

Online has also enabled the company to empower buyers and sellers to a remarkable degree, and in a way the magazine never could. Through financing, insurance, history checks, buyer and seller validation, geographic location services, and a dedicated content hub that houses motoring news, reviews & videos.
For this company it was a clear way forward to say #ByeByePrint and move forward as fully digital, to aid them in reaching their company goal – for a user to be able to conduct an entire sale, online, perfectly.

Tourism statistics take a dive

The latest Tourism Business Index (TBI) 3rd quarter results from Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has been released and the findings are alarming. Business confidence is at a record low, with the second lowest reported since 2010, and the lowest yet this year. The drop in confidence is largely attributed to national government’s utter failure in responding to the tourism industry’s concerns in particular, visa regulations.

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