The State of Urban Safety in South Africa 2017 Report

The debate on the role of cities in ensuring safer environments for their residents continues to evolve. As cities throughout the world face the challenge of balancing limited budgets with the requirement to deliver multiple lines of service and infrastructure, the critical aspect of safety is not always a focus, particularly in the developing world. This is often because the responsibility for delivering a safer environment has lain with the national authorities, despite safety’s being one of the highest demands by citizens. Compared to rural areas, urban and metropolitan regions carry a disproportionate burden of crime and violence – the nine cities considered in this report are home to about 40% of the country’s residents but record about half of all murders, two-thirds of aggravated robberies and three-quarters of vehicle thefts and carjackings. During 2016, government adopted policies that highlight the role of safety in urban development. The Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) includes urban safety as one of three crosscutting issues and streamlines issues of safety, and violence and crime prevention in all nine policy levers. The White Paper on Safety and Security reflects recommendations made in the previous State of Urban Safety in South African Cities Report (SACN, 2016), as it underlines the importance of integrated approaches and community participation, as well as an evidence-based approach. However, the role of cities remains vague and the distribution of resources is not yet aligned to the new policies, while data collection and availability are limited.

Source: South African Cities

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Urban Safety Reference Group

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