South Africa ranks as one of the most dangerous countries in Africa: index

Despite being one of the ten most-deteriorating countries on the African continent over the past decade, South Africa is showing signs of ‘bouncing back’, the latest Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) shows – though things do not look good for our personal safety score.

Since 2007, South Africa has shown a steady decline in the index, showing a trend of losing 0.14 index points each year to its overall governance score. But a slight rebound in the past few years have pointed to a slowing down of this decline.

In terms of overall governance, South Africa is still ranked in the top 10, maintaining its 6th-place ranking below Mauritius (1st), Seychelles (2nd), Botswana (3rd), Cape Verde  (4th) and Namibia (5th).

Established in 2007, the IIAG claims to be the most comprehensive collection of quantitative data on governance in Africa, assessing 54 countries.

Bouncing back – but not in safety

“Three countries — South Africa, Mali and Madagascar — though still registering a deterioration over the decade, show signs of ‘Bouncing Back’, potentially reversing decline over the decade by registering a positive trend in the last five years,” the foundations aid.

“Of the 12 countries that have experienced a decline both during the past ten and five years, four have also managed to slow their pace of deterioration over the past five: Algeria, Madagascar, South Africa and Tunisia.”

South Africa also registered a similar ‘bounce back’ comment in terms of its safety metric – while maintaining the top spot on the continent in the ‘rule of law’ category.

However, the country still ranks poorly for personal safety – 47th overall – which remains its lowest ranking across all metrics covered by the index.

South Africa’s personal safety ranking, which reflects the high levels of violence and crime in the country, is down even further from 2016’s placement of 44th, making it the 8th worst country in Africa for personal safety.

These are the 15 worst countries in Africa for personal safety

Country Rank/54 Score
Somalia 54 2.5
South Sudan 53 5.7
Libya 52 14.1
Central African Republic 51 15.3
Democratic Republic of Congo 50 17.3
Sudan 49 19.2
Burundi 48 25.8
South Africa 47 33.4
Guinea-Bissau 46 35.6
Mauritania 45 37.7
Zimbabwe 44 38.0
Nigeria 43 38.3
Egypt 42 38.4
Ethiopia 41 39.0
Chad 40 39.2

In the personal safety category, South Africa ranks poorly almost across the board in every indicator except human trafficking, where it ranks as the best country on the continent to combat it. Thee scores are as follows (ranked out of 54):

  • Human Trafficking – 1st
  • Police Service – 23rd
  • Political Violence – 37th
  • Safety of the Person – 46th
  • Social Unrest – 50th
  • Crime – 50th

Despite this, South Africa is still ranked in the top 10 in the overall safety and rule of law category, ranking 7th, thanks to a strong judicial system, and strong levels of accountability (when compared to other African nations).

South Africa’s scores

Category Rank/54 Score
Overall Governance 6 70.1
Participation and Human Rights 4 74.7
Sustainable Economic Opportunity 4 67.6
Safety and Rule of Law 7 67.1
Human Development 8 70.7

Read: Why Black Friday will be a dark day for South Africa

Must Read

Partner Content

Show comments

Trending Now

Follow Us

South Africa ranks as one of the most dangerous countries in Africa: index