Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke. File photo: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS.

Pretoria - An estimated 12 000 murders were committed in the 2018/19 financial year, affecting about 0,07% of households in South Africa.

The Statistician-General of South Africa, Risenga Maluleke, released the Victims of Crime report on Thursday, extracted from the Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS), which replaced the Victims of Crime Survey (VOCS) when that survey was expanded to include themes on governance, public safety, access to justice, and social cohesion.

The report covered incidents involving vehicle hijacking and home robbery. The victims of crime report also complemented the official crime statistics released by the police.

On his report Maluleke said all affected households reported incidences of murder to the police. He said according to the police data, "there were 32 000 murders during the same period".

"The main reason for the huge gap between GPSJS estimates of murder and police statistics is that GPSJS estimates are based on murders that are known to households. The police handles murders that may not be known to households such as murders of homeless people, immigrants, temporary visitors and gang-related murders," Maluleke said.

Maluleke said  there were about 580 000 incidences of street robbery in the financial year, this affected about 1% of people aged 16 or older.

"Males were more than twice as likely as females to be victims of street robbery. Similarly, people living in metropolitan areas were more likely to be victims of street robbery than those living in non-metros."

At 1.9%. the Western Cape had the highest percentage of people aged 16 and above who were victims of street robbery compared to other provinces.

"The weapons most commonly used for street robbery were knives (62%) and guns (37%)".

He said the perception of safety by people who live in South African is vital. 

"The report indicates that the percentage of people who felt safe walking alone in their areas during the day increased from 79% in 2017/18 to 83% in 2018/19".

Maluleke said those who felt safe walking alone in their areas during the night increased from 29% in 2017/18 to 35% in 2018/19.

"Males felt safer than females during the day and at night, and those in rural areas (24%) felt safer than those in urban areas (15%) and metros (8%) during the day. About 45% of people in metros felt unsafe at night compared to urban (42%) and rural people (39%)," he said.

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