South Africa is one of the most dangerous and unsafe nations in the World. In the last year its murder rate registered an incredible increase creating big concerns and worries at an institutional level. Particularly, the national government is seriously preoccupied about this unexpected wave of violence and lack of security. According to The Guardian “A total of 17,805 murders were committed from April 2014 to March 2015, an increase of 782 deaths from the year before in a population of 54 million”(1). This figure is continuously increasing, although the level of crime is decreasing.
It’s difficult to understand how it’s all possible and what are the reasons for this degeneration. The most common crimes in this nation are burglaries, armed robberies and carjackings. The main problem is that South Africa hasn’t been able to set up a common and shared strategy to fight violence and crime. Consequently, the lack of an effective plan is manifesting its horrible consequences in the society. According to Gareth Newman, a South African official “With some of the best technology in the world, and more than 194,000 personnel, the South African police service should be better able to reduce crimes such as robbery”(2).
Another very big problem related to the South African society is the very high level of sexual offenses. Even in this case the national rate has registered an alarming rise. According to the latest figures “More than 50,000 sexual offenses were reported to South African police last year”(3). The most shocking fact is that the level of violence in this nation seems to be close to that of countries involved in wars. According to a local politician called Diane Kohler “This number of deaths is what one would expect from a country at war”(4).
This high level of murders and anti social behaviors is also the consequence of serious political and social problems. In fact, in South Africa there are many criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities. Furthermore there is a serious problem of alcoholism among the civilian population. Lastly, according to the Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega “An increase in violent protests, socioeconomic inequality, a proliferation of firearms, a high prevalence of undocumented migrants and a resurgence of taxi-related violence all contributed to the high crime rate”(5).
There are other causes behind all the problems mentioned before. They are reasons strictly related to social inequality, poverty and low-level of education. Furthermore, another element which stimulates crime is the high level of corruption in the South African society. In fact, according to the journalist Stephen Mulholland “If South Africa was a commercial enterprise then the way it’s now being managed would be a dead giveaway the enterprise is rudderless, leaderless, drowning in bureaucracy, suffocated by committees, poisoned by rivalries, weakened by corruption and drained by overpaid and under-qualified staff whose aim seems to be to get rid of as much money as possible as quickly as possible”(6).
Lastly, other “plagues” of this country are at the base of this high level of violence. Although the apartheid regime is finished and the election of Nelson Mandela represented a sign of progress, this nation still suffers from strong racial conflicts. Huge social and xenophobic divisions still affect this nation in a deep and undeniable way. According to the journalist Geoffrey York “Twenty years after the death of apartheid, there are signs that racism is mounting a comeback – if it ever went away; In Cape Town, there are widespread reports that some restaurants and landlords discriminate against blacks; In several notorious cases in comfortable middle-class suburbs, blacks were violently attacked by white residents who falsely accused them of being prostitutes or criminals”(7).