Children among 1,300 who committed suicide in Gauteng since start of pandemic
Figures released by the department of community safety have revealed that suicides have increased in Gauteng since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 1,325 incidents reported since April 2020.
This was almost double the number reported in the previous year. In the 2019/2020 financial year, 695 suicides were reported in the province.
The department reported that Covid-19 job losses were to blame for some suicides in the 2020/2021 financial year.
In written responses tabled to the provincial legislature, the department listed the top reasons given by families about the suicides as:
- loss of income during the pandemic;
- financial difficulties;
- death of family members; and
- domestic violence.
A 10-year-old from Ga-Rankuwa was listed as the youngest to take their own life in October 2020, followed by two 11-year-olds in September 2020.
A 96-year-old man was the oldest to have committed suicide, in Pretoria in October 2020, followed by a 91-year-old woman from Ekurhuleni who took her life in June 2021 and a 90-year-old woman from Thokoza who took her life in December 2020.
At least 18 people who were not identified also took their lives.
One of the reported suicides occurred at the Leeuwkop prison and two at the upmarket Sandhurst Towers in Sandton.
At least two people were found hanging in cemeteries and there were suicides reported inside police holding cells.