A report by the Urban Safety Reference Group (USRG) reveals that the City of Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay are the most violent metros in South Africa, based on murder rates.

The two have the highest rate of crime detected through police work.

The report was compiled by members of the USRG, hosted by the South African Cities Network with the support of the GIZ-Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention (VCP) programme.

The 2015/2016 State of Urban Safety in South African Cities report was presented on Wednesday in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

The report covered nine large, urban municipalities over an 11-year-period of 2005/06 to 2015/16, using data from government departments and Statistics SA. It is an update of the state of crime and violence in the country’s major cities.

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Nelson Mandela Bay went from having the third-lowest rate to the second-highest rate of robberies at residential premises. This metro has seen a steep decrease in residential burglary rates, whereas its residential robbery rates had increased over the past 11 years.

Urban municipalities analysed in the report are reportedly home to about 40% of the residents of South Africa, but record about 77% of car hijackings, 74% of the vehicle theft, 64% of the aggravated robberies, 58% of the residential robberies and 47% of the murders.

It reveals that murder rates in three Gauteng metros, Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni, remained below the national average. The City of Cape Town has seen its murder rate rise since 2009/10, increasing by 40% between 2011/12 and 2015/16.

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According to the report, Johannesburg remains on top in terms of robberies at residential premises, with a rate that remains double the national rate. Both Cape Town and Nelson Mandela Bay have a high rate of gang-related crime and are seen as the two most violent cities in the country.

Theft of motor vehicles and motorcycles was described as a mostly urban crime trend, with the rates in almost all nine cities staying above the national rate for most of the 11 years.

USRG’s Geshi Karuri-Sebina told EWN that the findings show that crime is a social issue and its solution is multi-sectoral.

“It’s about how we design our cities, whether we have social-cohesion, whether we trust each other and report a crime. It’s about whether we have social programmes that occupy young people, whether our children are at schools and have safer schools,” Karuri-Sebina was quoted as saying.

Additional sources: EWN and TimesLive