SA’s murder rate rose after lifting of lockdown curbs

By Paul Vecchiatto

(Bloomberg) — South Africa’s murder rate increased after the country relaxed lockdown restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, latest quarterly police statistics show. 

The homicide rate rose to 12 per 100,000 people in the three months through September, from 10 per 100,000 in the same period in 2021, National Police Commissioner Fannie Mosemola told lawmakers in Cape Town on Wednesday. Sexual offense cases increased to 17 per 100,000 people over the period, from 16. 

The annual murder rate reached a decade-high of 36 per 100,000 people in the 12 months through March 2020, but plummeted after lockdown curbs and restrictions on alcohol sales were instituted.  

The government is working to strengthen law enforcement after an exodus of skilled personnel undermined its ability to bring criminals to book. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana added 8.7 billion rand ($506 million) to the police force’s budget in the medium-term budget last month and allocated another 1 billion rand for the implementation of personnel reforms.

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