Cape Town - Police paint a stark picture of the rape capitals of greater Cape Town - and the bulk are in the city’s impoverished areas.
According to statistics presented by SAPS, the police stations which record the highest numbers of reported sexual offences, of all kinds combined, are, alphabetically: Delft, Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Harare (in Khayelitsha), Mfuleni, Mitchells Plain and Nyanga.
These stations’ figures for the past six years - the most recent being April 2011-April 2012 - are:
The second-highest numbers were recorded at Bellville, Blue Downs, Manenberg and Milnerton, which included a number of suburbs around it.
The third-worst areas were Athlone, Cape Town Central, Elsies River, Grassy Park, Kuils River, Lingelethu West, Philippi and Woodstock.
In terms of South Africa’s total number of “sexual offences” in its nine provinces, the Western Cape has the fourth highest - 9 153 from April 2011 to April 2012.
The highest is Gauteng, with 12 419, followed by KZN with 12 288, and the Eastern Cape, with 9 239.
But when the Western Cape’s figures are expressed as a percentage of the population, the province becomes South Africa’s second-worst province - with 173.1 women reporting sexual offences against them out of 100 000. The national average is 127 per 100 000.
Experts in the subject of sexual abuse widely report that rape occurs “across the board” economically, geographically and demographically.
But researcher Amelia Kleijn, in a 2010 PHD thesis at Wits, titled Demographic Profile on Child Rapist, wrote: “The role of socio-economic factors associated with poverty, including overcrowding, unemployment and its concomitant financial stress, could increase some individuals’ vulnerability to abuse children, given that unemployed men have free time,” quoting established fellow experts.
She also quoted the University of the Western Cape’s Marcel Londt, from the university’s Department of Social Work, noting that “many sexual offenders in South Africa share the following characteristics: They come from communities with inadequate resources.
General profiles of these offenders suggest “a highly compromised quality of life” that includes unsatisfactory parental supervision. Similarly, such offenders appear to have histories of substance abuse, inadequate support networks, are unemployed and experience “extreme poverty”. The socio-economic profile of the children most vulnerable to harm and sexual brutality mirrors that of the sexual perpetrators.
Londt said: “It is commonly acknowledged that most sex offenders are likely to have experienced adversarial developmental experiences (as children) and have generally lacked opportunities/necessary support to achieve coherent lives.
“Consequently they lack most of the essential skills, values and capabilities to achieve fulfilling lives/to regard the rights of others to have a fulfilling/safe life.”