The State of Urban Safety in South African Cities Report 2018/19

This third edition of the State of Urban Safety in South Africa Report continues the tradition of the 2016 and 2017 reports in providing a longitudinal study of city-level crime trends in South Africa’s major cities. It gives an overview of the USRG knowledge sharing and learning activities, and showcases current city practices related to urban safety. The report’s overarching aim is to contribute to improved efforts to prevent and respond to crime and violence, and to create safer communities in the country’s urban centers. Despite the current tough economic climate in the country, cities remain the largest contributors to gross value added and are synonymous with economic opportunity. Home to the majority (63%) of the country’s population (a figure that continues to grow), cities are where crime and violence are most concentrated. Within cities, the drivers of crime and violence are the social, economic, spatial and cultural risk factors that result from the extreme poverty and inequality in South Africa’s cities. This reality, juxtaposed with a highly constrained fiscal situation and the need to stretch existing, limited resources, forms the basis of the USRG’s call for more spatially-targeted and evidence-based approaches to preventing crime and violence in our cities and urban areas. The USRG understands that all sectors and all spheres of government have a role to play in addressing violence and crime, as part of a “whole-of-society” approach espoused in the White Paper on Safety and Security.