Exploring The Top Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa

A country full of fascinating landscapes, vibrant culture and rich history, South Africa also struggles with the challenge of crime. Although crime rates have decreased in recent years, levels of criminal activity continue to increase in certain South African cities. Understanding these problem areas is important to making informed travel and stay decisions.

Take a look at the 10 most dangerous cities in South Africa, based on the latest data from the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Pietermaritzburg: Pietermaritzburg is located in KwaZulu-Natal and has a population of approximately 187,000 people and is one of the top cities in terms of crime rate. A staggering 149 murders were reported in Pietermaritzburg in 2020-2021.

Durban: South Africa’s third largest city, Durban, with a population of over 3.5 million people, faces a serious crime problem. A shocking 1,191 murders were reported in Durban in 2020/2021.

South Africa dangerous cities

Cape Town:  Cape Town, South Africa’s second largest city, ranks fourth on the list with a murder rate of 33.5 per 100,000 people. The city’s crime rate is a complex issue, influenced by factors such as poverty, unemployment, and gang activity.

Port Elizabeth: Port Elizabeth, a coastal city in the Eastern Cape, ranks third with a murder rate of 44.5 per 100,000 people. Gang violence and drug-related crimes contribute significantly to the city’s crime rate.

Nelson Mandela Bay: Nelson Mandela Bay, a metropolitan municipality in the Eastern Cape, ranks fifth with a murder rate of 32.1 per 100,000 inhabitants. A city’s crime rate is influenced by socio-economic factors, gang activity, and drug abuse.

Bloemfontein:  Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State province, ranks 6th on the list with a murder rate of 30.8 people per 100,000 population. The city’s crime rate is believed to be caused by poverty, unemployment and drug abuse.

Johannesburg: Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, ranks seventh with a murder rate of 32.0 per 100,000 people. The city’s crime rate is a complex issue, influenced by factors such as poverty, unemployment, and gang activity.

Pretoria: Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, ranks 8th on the list with a murder rate of 18.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. A city’s crime rate is influenced by socio-economic factors, gang activity, and drug abuse.

East London: East London, a coastal city in the Eastern Cape, ranks ninth with a murder rate of 16.7 per 100,000 people. A city’s crime rate is influenced by poverty, unemployment, and gang activity.

Welkom: The Free State city of Welkom ranks 10th with a murder rate of 15.0 per 100,000 inhabitants. The city’s crime rate is believed to be caused by poverty, unemployment and drug abuse.

Although the risk of crime may be higher in these cities, it is important to remember that South Africa is still an overwhelmingly safe country. If individuals understand the areas of increased risk and take proactive steps to protect them, they can navigate the situation with confidence.

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