The SA Cities Network report released on Thursday showed that almost 2500 people were murdered in Cape Town in the 2017/18 reporting period, which is 69 murders per 100 000 people.
Cape Town continues to buck the trend, with a murder rate that has steadily risen since 2009/10, increasing by almost 70% between 2009/10 and 2017/18, despite stabilising over three years (2014/15 to 2016/17).
The increase in the murder rate in Cape Town is presumably driven by gang violence, which has been exacerbated by the supply of thousands of illegal firearms to criminal gangs. Police investigations and court proceedings have implicated corrupt police officials as one source of the illegal firearms. There was evidence to suggest that similar illegal firearm transfers into Nelson Mandela Bay significantly contributed to the city’s elevated murder rate in recent years, said the report.
Siphelele Ngobese, SA Cities Network researcher for inclusion and wellbeing, said the difference between the report and police statistics was that the national police statistics obscured the facts of where the hot spots were.