Murder trends in South Africa’s deadliest provinces

An in-depth understanding of the factors driving murder in each province will enable South Africa to respond more effectively.

The South African per-capita murder rate has steadily escalated since 2011/12, when it was at its lowest since 1994. The 2022/23 rate of 45 per 100 000 is the highest in 20 years. But focusing on national murder trends is misleading as trends vary greatly across the nine provinces. The current high per-capita murder rate is driven by high rates in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, the Western Cape and Gauteng.

About the author

David Bruce is an independent researcher on policing and public security and an Institute for Security Studies consultant.

Image: © AFP/Stringer

Development partners
This policy brief is funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The ISS is grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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