The worst areas in South Africa from home break-ins and robberies

The South African police service has released its crime statistics for 2017, showing changes in the number of  burglaries and robberies taking place in the country – and which areas are worst affected.

According to the SAPS’ data, burglaries at residential premises decreased by almost 2% from 2016, though robberies at houses were up by 7.3%.

While similar in nature (criminal trespassing and theft), burglaries and robberies are differentiated by the presence of the victim.

Burglaries take place when a victim is not at home, or not directly threatened as a criminal trespasses with the intent to steal, and robberies are defined by the theft taking place while the victims are present, under threat.

Despite showing a decrease year on year, burglaries still far outstrip robberies in South Africa in number, and after general theft and drug-related crime is the biggest crime category in the country.

Data captured at police stations across the country recorded 246,654 cases of home burglaries between April 2016 and March 2017 – roughly 676 a day. Meanwhile, the SAPS recorded 22,343 house robberies over the same period – or 61 every day.

In South Africa, crimes need to be reported at the police station that is closest to where the crime took place, giving a fair indication of the crime levels in the general region the police station is found in.

It should be noted, however, that station statistics may encompass more areas than where the station is located. For example, a station in a remote area may represent the reported crimes of several neighbourhoods and small towns surrounding it, as it is the only station available to service those areas.

There are approximately 1,140 police stations in the country.

Crime information portal, has broken down the SAPS even further, revealing the specific areas (stations or precincts) where these crimes are most common.

Burglary at a residential premises

Nationally, Gauteng accounts for the most of the class of crime, with over a quarter (25.6%) of home burglaries taking place in the province. This is unsurprising as it is the most populous province in South Africa, and thus has the proportional amount of crime.

This is also seen with the Northern Cape, which is the most scarcely populated province in the country, and thus has the lowest number of reported crimes (2.5%).

However, a fair number of provinces are represented in the ‘worst 10’ list, and it is Witbank in Mpumalanga which has drawn the most cases of break-ins, followed by Honeydew, and Plessislaer in KZN.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Witbank Mpumalanga 1 616
2 Honeydew Gauteng 1 340
3 Plessislaer KwaZulu Natal 1 291
4 Rustenburg North West 1 175
5 Seshego Limpopo 1 124
6 Kraaifontein Western Cape 1 122
7 Protea Glen Gauteng 1 112
8 Roodepoort Gauteng 1 110
9 Margate KwaZulu Natal 1 107
10 Vanderbijlpark Gauteng 1 103

Robbery at a residential premises

As with burglaries, Gauteng also has the highest number of home robberies, and its areas take up most of the places in the ‘worst 10’. Honeydew ranks as the worst area for home robberies.

# Precinct Province No. of crimes
1 Honeydew Gauteng 337
2 Ivory Park Gauteng 296
3 Nyanga Western Cape 276
4 Sandton Gauteng 226
5 Midrand Gauteng 216
6 Roodepoort Gauteng 214
7 Diesploot Gauteng 184
7 Mtunzini KwaZulu Natal 184
9 Kwazakele Eastern Cape 183
10 Empangeni KwaZulu Natal 180

Read: The 30 worst areas in South Africa for crime in 2017

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The worst areas in South Africa from home break-ins and robberies