68 people are murdered every day in South Africa – here are the danger areas

 ·18 Aug 2023

Despite the number of murders declining in the latest quarter, South Africa still has an alarmingly high murder rate.

According to the latest Crime Stats from the South African Police Service (SAPS), violent crime dropped 3.81% from 6,424 in Q1 2022/23 to 6,228 in 2023/24 in Q1 2023/24.

This means that, on average, 68 murders occurred in South Africa every day from April to June 2023.

In addition, although overall murder rates are down, the number of women and children that have been murdered has grown.

Murders of women increased by 4.7% from 855 in Q1 2022/23 to 895 in Q1 2023/24, whilst murders of children also saw a substantial 20.6% increase from 243 in Q1 2022/23 to 295 in Q1 2023/24.

Since April to June 2019, there has been a noticeable increase in murders in South Africa – rising from 9.2 murders per 100,000 to 10.1.

TimeMurders Murders per 100,000
Q1 2019/205 3989.2
Q1 2020/213 466* 5.8
Q1 2021/225 7609.6
Q1 2022/236 42410.6
Q1 2023/246 22810.1
*South Africa entered a hard lockdown following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Worst areas

According to the SAPS’s stats, police stations in eThekwini and the City of Cape Town recorded the most murders in South Africa.

The police station in Inanda in eThekwini recorded the most murder cases, with 81 from April to June 2023 – 15 more compared to the same period in 2022.

Umlazi in eThekwini was in second place with 62 murders – a sharp decline from the 83 murders recorded in Q1 2022/23.

The Delft (61), Gugultheu (59) and Harare (59) police stations in Cape Town completed the top five.

In Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province, Hillbrow police station recorded the most murders with 52 (Q1 2022/23: 36), followed by Jeppe with 51 (Q1 2022/23: 21).

Provincial makeup

On a per capita basis, the Eastern Cape has the highest murder rate, with 17.1 people murdered per 100,000 – a slight improvement from 18.0 per 100,000 in Q1 2022/23.

KwaZulu-Natal (13.5) and the Western Cape (12.8) followed in second and third place.

On the other end of the scale, Limpopo and the North West had the lowest number of murders, with 3.3 and 5.5 murders per 100,000, respectively.

Since Q1 2019/20, there has been a decline in the murder rate in Limpopo and the Western Cape.

Murder weapon

Firearms remain the most frequently used instrument to commit murders, accounting for 2,756 murders nationwide.

Knives were the second most frequently used murder instrument, accounting for 862 murders in the country.

However, in the Northern Cape, knives accounted for more murders (28) than firearms (12).

Read: The latest crime stats for South Africa – everything you need to know

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