Gauteng is part of deadly trio
National crime statistics released yesterday showed KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Eastern Cape to be the most dangerous places to live in. More than 9700 murders were reported in the three provinces in one year.
However, Nyanga in Cape Town remains South Africa's murder capital with 233 murder cases opened last year.
KwaZulu-Natal recorded the highest murder rate, 3422 killings, fewer than last year's 3749 reported murders.
In the Eastern Cape, the number of murder cases rose from 3187 to 3278.
KwaZulu-Natal transport, community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu applauded the "drastic decline" in the number of murders recorded in the province.
"The decline of murder cases is an indication that we are making progress," he said.
But areas like KwaMashu, Umlazi and Inanda still needed serious attention, Mchunu said.
Gauteng might have seen a decrease from 3257 murders to 3012, but it still has the third-highest murder rate in the country.
There were 2300 murders in the Western Cape last year.
Its provincial police commissioner, Arno Lamoer, said visible policing, an organised approach to crime, improved training of officers and partnerships with other government spheres, such as the City of Cape Town, would stem the tide of violent crime.
Police had prioritised areas in Cape Town's densely populated southeast, such as Mitchells Plain, Guguletu, Hanover Park and Khayelitsha, he said.
At the opposite end of the scale, Nuwerus, a small town on the West Coast, recorded only one murder last year. Contact crimes in the town were also in the single digits.
In Doringbaai, a fishing village on the West Coast, no murders have been reported in the past two years, only 10 aggravated assaults. It is home to about 2000 people.
Lamoer said his officers' hard work was being overlooked by the politicians in charge of the Western Cape.
"It's sad that what we're doing is contradicted endlessly and our hard work is not acknowledged," he said.
The DA-controlled provincial government has sought to define its oversight role of the police through the passing of a community safety bill.
Among other things, the bill seeks the reintroduction of specialised police units.
Premier Helen Zille has established a committee of inquiry into the police's failings in Khayelitsha following complaints from NGOs.
Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato said he was concerned at the increase in drug-related cases from 70588 last year to 77069 this year.
These figures, he said, validated the call for the reintroduction of specialised police units and the army to patrol the streets in gang-ridden areas.
Sexual offences were most common in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape, though Gauteng recorded a decrease from 13987 cases in 2010/2011 to 12419 last year.
In KwaZulu-Natal, 12288 such cases were reported.
Gauteng remains the most dangerous province for drivers, with 5000 car hijackings last year. The Northern Cape recorded just nine such cases.
Gauteng also has the highest number of residential robberies of people - 6336, down from 7039 cases the year before, making it the most dangerous place in the country to be a homeowner.
Although the number of residential burglaries, or housebreakings, decreased from 70 794 to 64 714 last year, Gauteng still recorded the highest number.