Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Violent Crime 'Not Necessarily Linked' to Poverty in South Africa

A new report from the South African Institute of Race Relations claims that the nation's high incidence of violent crime is not necessarily related to the high rate of poverty.

The report, published in Fast Facts, the institute's newsletter, surveyed 80 indicators for municipalities across the country. Eastern Cape municipalities - with a poverty rate of 62% - had the highest murder rate, at 54 murders per 100 000 people. But Limpopo municipalities, which also recorded a poverty rate of 62%, had the lowest murder rate, at 13,7 per 100 000 residents.

Western Cape municipalities also had a high murder rate, at 51 per 100 000 people, but a low poverty rate, at 26,5%.

Lisa Vetten, senior researcher and policy analyst for the Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre, said it was too simplistic to blame poverty for high rates of violent crime.

South Africa: Crime And Poverty 'Not Correlated'
Business Day
February 9, 2010