The 10 worst crime areas in every province in South Africa

City centres remain the most crime-ridden areas in South Africa, despite inner-city development projects underway to try and rejuvenate and rehabilitate these often neglected spaces. has broken down the latest SAPS crimes stats for 2017 regionally, to show which areas across South Africa’s nine provinces had the most reported crimes between April 2016 and March 2017.

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 levels are often tied to population numbers, thus is comes as no surprise that Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal rank as the three provinces worst-affected by crime. These provinces are home the three most populous metro areas in the country – and across all three provinces, the city centres had the most reported crimes.


Gauteng had a over 626,700 reported crimes in the 2016/17 period – with over 31% of all crimes taking place in the province’s 10 worst precincts. 4.5% of all crimes took place in Joburg central, which is the second worst precinct for reported crimes in the country.

Western Cape

The Western Cape had over 499,000 reported crimes during the 2016/17 period, of which the 10 worst crime precincts make up 42%. Cape Town central is the worst precinct in the province, and also in the country, accounting for 7.1% of the total crimes in the province.

KwaZulu Natal

In KZN, there were around 347,300 crimes were reported in the province, where the 10 worst precincts accounted for 46% of total crimes. Durban central was the worst precinct, accounting for 7.5% of total provincial crimes.

Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape is the fourth most crime-ridden province, where 207,713 crimes were reported in 2017. The Mount Road precinct, with 12,565 reported crimes came out as the worst area.


Limpopo saw approximately 131,200 reported crimes. The provincial capital, Polokwane, was the worst region, accounting for almost 11% of total reported crimes in the province.


Almost 127,000 crimes were reported in Mpumalanga, according to’s tally. Witbank was the worst precinct, accounting for 16% of total crimes reported.

North West

Just under 119,900 crimes were reported in the North West, with the worst precinct, Rustenburg, taking the bulk of that number, at 16.3%.

Free State

Around 118,300 crimes were reported in the Free State in 2016/17, with the Park Road precinct being the worst. The 21,315 crimes reported there accounting for 18% of the total.

Northern Cape

A relatively low number of crimes were reported in the Northern Cape – around 50,700 – where the worst precinct, Kimberly take up the most – 29% of total crimes in the province.

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

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The 10 worst crime areas in every province in South Africa