More and more public places in South Africa have been deserted as rampant crime keeps people at home, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Tuesday.
Due to fear of crime, one in three households do not go to open spaces or walk alone in parks, and one in five households do not allow their children to play on their own in the area they live, Stats SA said in its latest Victims of Crime Survey.
According to the survey, more than 40 percent of households headed by whites, Indians/Asians and coloured indicated that they do not go to open spaces or walk alone in parks as a result of fear of crime, with 30.4 percent of African/Black headed households indicating the same.
African/Black headed households are less likely to prevent their children to play on their own in the area they live as a result of fear of crime (19.6 percent), while 40.3 percent of White-headed households indicated that they do not allow their children to play on their own in the area they live due to fear of crime, the survey shows.
Housebreaking and home robbery are the most feared types of crime in South Africa, according to the survey.
This is despite households experiencing a decline in housebreaking and home robberies from 931,000 incidents in 2010 to 807,000 in 2015/16.
The report also shows that about 712, 000 (two percent) of individuals experienced theft of their personal property, while 254,000 (0.7 percent) experienced assault in 2015/16.
“It has been said that a child’s laughter could simply be the most beautiful sound in the world and that children learn through play. But what happens when children’s opportunities to play are stifled by the reality of crime in their neighbourhoods? ” Stats SA asked.
In the 2017 State of the Nation Address delivered in Parliament last Thursday, President Jacob Zuma indicated that the fight against crime is an apex priority and that visible policing will increase, building on the successful pattern of deployments utilized during the Safer Festive Season Campaign.
He also urged the public to work with the police to ensure safer communities.
“Let us hope that these initiatives will realize the NDP (National Development Programme) 2030 vision of a South Africa where everyone is safe and feels safe,” Stats SA said. Enditem