IN NUMBERS: How SA's spend on safety stacks up against the world's most violent countries | Fin24
  • Covid-19 Money Hub

    The hub will help answer your business and money questions during the coronavirus crisis.

  • Dudu Myeni

    The former SAA chair has been declared a delinquent director for her role at the national airline.

  • Cigarette Ban

    Govt says emerging research shows smoking leads to more severe cases of Covid-19.


IN NUMBERS: How SA's spend on safety stacks up against the world's most violent countries

Sep 22 2019 08:24
Marelise van der Merwe

The South African Police Service recently released its latest crime statistics. Once again home to the country's murder capital, Nyanga, the Western Cape this week saw the unveiling of what Premier Alan Winde called "the most comprensive and expensive safety plan" in the province's history.

But it's not just the Western Cape coughing up. According to research by the Global Peace Index, the cost of violence to SA comes in at a staggering 19% of GDP, the 16th highest rate globally.

Here, in numbers, is a picture of crime and violence in SA.


The economic cost to SA from homicide alone came in at 17% of GDP, according to the 2018 Global Peace Index Economic Value of Peace Report. SA spent the fourth-highest percentage of GDP on homicide in the world. Violence overall cost SA 19% of GDP.


The allocation announced by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in his February budget speech, to allow for more equipment and staff. This included R104.2bn for police services and R48.4bn for courts and prisons.


The amount, per year, that the Western Cape government plans to spend on its new safety plan as at September 2019. This will include 3 000 new law enforcement officers, 150 investigators to prepare dockets for prosecution, a new violence prevention programme and deployment based on data-led technology, according to Winde.


The anticipated cost of the South African National Defence Force's extended deployment in a bid to curb gang violence in the Western Cape. The SANDF's deployment has been extended until March 31, 2020.

This is in addition to the R23m spent on the 1320 soldiers deployed between July and September 2019.

R22k – R25k

The cost of treating a single gunshot wound at a public hospital.


The amount, according to a 2017 study by Save the Children, that child abuse and neglect cost SA's economy (or 5.93% of GDP) at the time. This was in, among other things, child welfare costs, fatalities, and the consequences of physical and sexual violence.


The possible annual cost of gender-based violence, cited in 2016 by UN Women country director Anne Githuku-Shongwe.


The percentage of people who do not feel safe walking alone at night where they live in South Africa, according to the Gallup World Poll.


The increase in the economic impact of violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, including from violent crimes and homicide, between 2007 and 2017. Sub-Saharan Africa overall comes 6th out of 9 regions globally in the peace stakes.

crime  |  economy  |  safety  |  budget


Company Snapshot

Voting Booth

How has Covid-19 impacted your financial position?

Previous results · Suggest a vote