Crime stats pull down WCape’s excellent record

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An elderly farmer from Mpumalanga is recovering in hospital after he was attacked and shot three times on his farm. File photo.

Cape Town - The Western Cape has scored highly in terms of health, education and service delivery, and badly in terms of crime, according to a comprehensive report released yesterday by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR).

The report rated the nine provinces according to 125 demographic, economic and social indicators, to give one of the most comprehensive pictures yet of differences between them.

According to Zak Mbhele, spokesperson for Premier Helen Zille, the report proved that the DA was “head-and-shoulders above ANC governments” when it came to service delivery.

But ANC Western Cape leader Maruis Fransman cautioned there should be no “beauty competition about who is better” between provinces.

He noted that when the ANC governed the province, it also ranked highly for service delivery. He attributed the province’s good showing to past injustices: “The Western Cape saw the benefit of apartheid funding, differently to the Eastern Cape.”

The report’s authors found the Western Cape and Gauteng attracted large inflows of migrants from other provinces between 2001 and 2011.

Just over 300 000 more people moved to the Western Cape than left it. For Gauteng, this figure was three times as high: the province added one million migrants. The provinces of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Free Sate and Limpopo all experienced negative net migration since 2001. The Eastern Cape was the worst affected by population outflow - losing just under 280 000 migrants, many of whom moved to the Western Cape.

The report suggested people were leaving these provinces due to “better prospects of work and a decent standard of living” in the other provinces.

“As long as such provinces perform the best on these indicators, they are likely to continue to attract migrants from both inside and outside the country, putting pressure on their delivery of basic services,” stated the authors.

The report found that the Western Cape had a good service delivery record: the most number of households with water in a dwelling, households who have their refuse removed by the municipality and households using electricity for lighting and cooking.

The province was ranked second for households using electricity for heating, behind Gauteng.

However, 18.2 percent of the province’s households live in informal dwellings, placing it seventh. In addition, while Gauteng had completely eradicated the bucket-system for toilets, about 2 percent of Western Cape households still had to make use of it.

The province performed well in health. It had the lowest still-birth rate, under-five mortality rate and under-five severe malnutrition rate. It also had the lowest proportion of HIV-positive women attending public antenatal clinics.

A total of 5.2 percent of the Western Cape is HIV-positive, which is about 6 percent lower than the national average.

While the Cape scored highly in terms of health, education and service delivery, crime stats painted a bleak picture.

The number of drug-related crimes dwarfed statistics from other provinces, confirming its status as a drug hot spot.

Drug-related crime was four times higher than the national average.

The murder rate, 44 per 100 000, was second-highest, behind the Eastern Cape.

It also had the worst residential and non-residential burglary rate.

The SAIRR used 16 sources, including the National Treasury, Health Department and SA Police Service to compile the report. The findings of the 2011 census were also included.

Cape Times


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