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The portion of South Africans living in poverty, defined as living on less than $1.25 a day, decreased from 57 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2011 (the latest data available), yet the gap between rich and poor has continued to widen.20 Unemployment remains a persistent problem, stuck at around 25 percent since 2010, and it is estimated to be as high as 35 percent ifpeople who have given up looking for employment are included. In September 2015, an estimated 5.4 million of working-age South Africans were unemployed, of which 40 percent were new to the labor


Public Safety

Persistent unemployment, poverty, inequality, and slow government reform continue to contribute to the level of violence in the country. In fact, South Africa remains one of the world’s most criminally violent countries—with a crime rate five times higher than the global average, as reported in the South African Police Services 2015 report. While bank robberies, robberies of cash in transit, and commercial crimes have decreased, the number of murders increased by 4.6 percent from 2014 to 20 1 5.22 The number of sexual offenses rose by as much as 34 percent in that same single year, the largest increase across the 27 crime categories in the police report.

Meanwhile, frustration related to lack of service delivery, strikes, and conflict between political groups has led to growing protests throughout the country. According to statistics from the South African Institute of

Race Relations, the number of protests in the country has jumped a whopping 96 percent since 2010.23

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