Peace
Uxolo
Vrede
3 Rye Road, Mowbray, Cape Town 7700, South Africa Tel: +27 (0)21 685 7800 Fax: +27 (0)21 686 8167 Email: qpc@qpc.org.za

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Needs

Needs in Our Communities

To help understand the environment in which QPC works, we provide a quotation followed by a set of statistics mainly, supplied by the Western Cape Department of Social Development, one of our major funders: "In South Africa violence is the point of the crime…it was until recently part of the grammar of politics and can still be rationalised as avenging inequality…reinforced by feelings of hopelessness and anger. Violence is ingrained in South Africans from childhood. We are seeing the results of children growing up with the normalisation of violence, neglect and abuse where physical contact is not about love and nurture but about conflict and habitual violence. Children grow up lacking the capacity for empathy and the healthy inhibitions against extreme violence appear to be absent" (Rawoot, 2009).

Official crime statistics give some idea of the problem. Although these generally indicate steadily reducing crime levels over the years but the absolute (reported) numbers of "contact" and "property related" crimes are staggering.

The reported figures are displayed on the opposite page (South African Police Service, 2011b). Some of the real figures may be much higher as, for example, it may not be worth reporting a straightforward street robbery and the incidence of rape is believed to be 9-10 times the reported figure.

Our hope is that, despite these statistics, there is another side to our society in which children grow up in loving homes, don't do drugs and crime and do become responsible adults.

South Africa – Land of contrasts
South Africa now stands fifth from the top for overall governance in the 2009 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Countries but 44th (out of 53) for personal safety (Mo Ibrahim, 2011). It is also a land of extreme inequality. Its Gini coefficient has risen to 0.7 where a value of 1 indicates total inequality) (National Planning Commission, 2010).

Crime Statistics for the Western Cape from April 2010 to March 2011

Type of Crime

Crimes per Year

Crimes per Hour

CONTACT CRIMES (CRIMES AGAINST A PERSON)

Murder

2,311

0.26

Total Sexual Crimes

9,299

1.07

Attempted Murder

2,162

0.25

Assault with the Intent to Inflict Grievous Bodily Harm

24,723

2.82

Common Assault

33,278

3.80

Common Robbery

10,399

1.19

Robbery with Aggravating Circumstances

12,250

1.40

CONTACT-RELATED CRIMES

Arson

632

0.07

Malicious Damage to Property

23,334

2.66

PROPERTY-RELATED CRIMES

Burglary at Non-Residential Premises

11,582

1.32

Burglary at Residential Premises

43,801

5.00

Theft of Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle

9,098

1.04

Theft out of or from Motor Vehicle

36,453

4.16

Stock-Theft

995

0.11

CRIMES HEAVILY DEPENDENT ON POLICE ACTION FOR DETECTION

Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition

2,551

0.29

Drug-Related Crime

70,588

8.06

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

17,244

1.97

OTHER SERIOUS CRIMES

All Theft not Mentioned Elsewhere

84,989

9.70

Commercial Crime

11,888

1.36

Shoplifting

18,763

2.14

SUBCATEGORIES FORMING PART OF AGGRAVATED ROBBERY ABOVE

Carjacking

457

0.05

Truck Hijacking

17

0.00

Robbery at Residential Premises

1,215

0.14

Robbery at Non-Residential Premises

1,309

0.15

OTHER CRIMES CATEGORIES

Culpable Homicide

1,126

0.13

Public Violence

402

0.05

Crimen Injuria

7,337

0.84

Neglect and Ill-Treatment of Children

667

0.08

Kidnapping

392

0.04


Population – Western Cape

The population of the Western Cape is estimated to be 5.23 million, though the forthcoming census data will clarify this figure (Dorrington, Johnson, Bradwhaw and Daniel, 2006). Around 3.4 million of these people live in Cape Town (City of Cape Town, 2008). The population is heavily comprised of youth, and by 2021 it is expected that half of the population will be less than 30 years old. Migration from the Eastern Cape is the chief cause of rapid population growth in Cape Town which averages 0.75% per annum (Romanovsky, 2006). Some 13% of people and over 20% of all households live in informal settlements (shacks) (Rodriguez, Gie and Haskins, 2006).

Family groups – nuclear or extended - are increasingly headed by women. 0.6% of households are headed by children under 20 years of age (Small, 2008).

Poverty

Most South Africans experience a life of outright poverty or, at best, continuing vulnerability. Within this group, 42.4% of households have an income of less than R1,600 a month – the official "basic poverty level" for a household of 5. The basic poverty level is "sufficient to preserve life, but not much more" (Department of Social Development, 2007)

About 400,000 households in Cape Town lack adequate housing, and the backlog of housing applications submitted to the city stretches back 24 years (Samodien, 2012). According to the Census 2001 figures, 14% of households lacked drinkable water, 10% lacked electricity and 22% had an "informal housing structure" (Department of Social Development, 2007).

Crime

34% of the South African prison population is under 25 years old (Department of Correctional Service, 2011).

Drug-related crime (alcohol, dagga, tik) is increasing rapidly in the Western Cape with 5,000 recorded incidents in 2001, rising to more than 70,000 in the 2011 (South African Police Service, 2011b). Tik is a local name for crystal methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug.

A disposition toward violence is compounded by easily available firearms and high levels of substance abuse.

Young people in South Africa are victimised at roughly twice the rate of older people. For violent crimes, these figures are even higher. Robbery is experienced at roughly four times the adult rate, theft at 5 times the adult rate, and assault at eight times the adult rate (Pelser, 2008).

The country has more than 190,000 police but fewer than 12,000 social workers (SAPS, 2011a). The criminal justice system alone cannot address the problems. This is something that requires a whole society response. We tend to look to the police for solutions to crime and violence yet government departments such as Social Development, Education, Health and Transport have equally important roles to play.

Health

60% of medical patients under the age of 21 regularly use tik, according to the Medical Research Council (Cape Town, 2011).

Some 21% of young women (ages 25-29) in the Western Cape are HIV positive, though in some of the larger townships the percentage is much higher. 8% of births in the Western Cape are to teenage mothers. In Cape Town this rises to 16%. There is a peak of births 9 months after the long school holidays. (Sylvester-Rose, 2008)

Children

Infant mortality increased from 53 out of every 1000 live births in 1997 to 58 in 2004. Children with the highest risk of dying are those born to young, uneducated and malnourished women from informal settlements, who may also be infected with HIV. (Department of Social Development, Integrated Service Delivery Plan 2007–2017)

Children in the Western Cape are highly vulnerable to violence in the home. About 40% of women have admitted to beating children under 3 years of age with a belt, strap or stick. Most abused children requiring hospital treatment are under 5 years old. Child Line has indicated that the Western Cape has the highest of sexual abuse reports in the entire country. (Department of Social Development, 2009)

A fifth of the children in the Western Cape between the ages of 12 and 17 have been exposed to domestic violence; 23% of children in this age group have been threatened with harm, are fearful of being harmed or have been hurt in a violent incident at school. (National Youth Victimization Survey, 2005)

Education

Cape Town faces a tremendous challenge in improving the quality of its education system. The pass rates for the recent annual tests are listed below ('Shaky Foundation', 2012). In each category, at each age level, less than half of all pupils were able to achieve the pass requirement of 50%. While both the number of children who enter school and the number of people who obtain higher education has increased, there is slow progress in increasing the number of students who make it through matric. The highest dropout rates are found between grades 10 and 12 (Human Sciences Research Council, 2008). The Human Capital Development Strategy in 2006 posited that only half of all those who enter Grade 1 will make it through Grade 12 (Sylvester-Rose, 2008).

Literacy and Language

Maths

Grade 3

30.4%

47.6%

Grade 6

31.5%

23.4%

Grade 9

44.2%

10.4%

One of the causes of poor academic performance is violence in schools. In a 2005 survey, 28% of South African teachers admitted to using corporal punishment in the classroom (RAPCAN, n.d.). The primary perpetrators of school violence are other classmates, but teachers make up a substantial minority of these incidents (Pelser, 2008). The Western Cape Education Department in 2007 reported 70 stabbings, almost 90 gang-related incidents of violence, and 118 pupil-on-pupil fights.

Gangs in the city are now targeting schools to recruit new members and expand their drug markets. According to the Department of Community Safety's Directorate Risk Management, around 60% of schools in 2006 were affected by gang violence and theft (Sylvester-Rose, 2008).

QPC Response

Reviewing this material and looking at the resources it presently has, the QPC Board and staff concluded that the main drivers with which we could reasonably interact were:-

  • Breakdown of social values, norms and accountability
  • Violent problem-solving
  • Lack of confidence in leadership
  • Perceptions of unfairness
  • Economic inequality.

The first two are the focus of our projects in the Non-Violent Schools Campaign, AVP and Diversity, which also focuses on overcoming racial and gender prejudices. Leadership is addressed by the positive "peace-building" elements in the projects – a basic "take responsibility for change" message. Economic inequality is addressed by giving our trainees the confidence and skills – personal and academic – to get work themselves.
References

City of Cape Town, 2008. City statistics [online]. Available at: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/stats/Pages/CityStatistic.aspx.

City of Cape Town, 2011. Alcohol and drugs website [online]. Available at: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/drugs/Pages/default.aspx.

Department of Correctional Services, 2011. Basic information [pdf]. Pretoria: Department of Correctional Services. Available at: http://www.dcs.gov.za/WebStatistics/.

Department of Social Development, 2009. Programme: Children and Families, Concept paper. Cape Town: Western Cape Department of Social Development. January 2009

Department of Social Development, 2007. Integrated Service Delivery Plan, Western Cape, 2007-2017. May 2007.

Dorrington, R., Johnson, L., Bradshaw, D. & Daniel, T., 2006. The demographic impact of HIV/AIDS in South Africa: National and provincial indicators for 2006 [pdf]. Cape Town: Centre for Actuarial Research, South African Medical Research Council and Actuarial Society of South Africa. Available at: http://www.mrc.ac.za//bod/DemographicImpactHIVIndicators.pdf.

Human Sciences Research Council, 2008. School drop-outs [pdf]. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Countil. Available at: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/HSRC_Review_Article-82.phtml.

Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2011. South Africa [pdf]. London: Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Available at: http://www.moibrahimfoundation.org/en/media/get/20110929_45-Country-country-template.pdf.

National Planning Commission, 2010. Development indicators [pdf[. Pretoria: The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa. Available at: http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/pebble.asp?relid=2871.

National Youth Victimization Survey, 2005. Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention Research Bulletin, No. 1,
May 2006. Available at www.cjcp.org.za/admin/uploads/research%20bulletin1.pdf

Pelser, E., 2008. Learning to be lost: Youth crime in South Africa [pdf]. Cape Town: Centre for Justice and Crime Prevention. Available at: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/Document-2774.phtml.

RAPCAN. Corporal and Humiliating Punishment of Children in South Africa [pdf]. Pretoria: Resources Aimed at the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. Available at: http://www.rapcan.org.za/cp_docs/Corporal_Punishment_fact_sheets.pdf.

Rawoot, I., 2009. Grammar of violence. Mail & Guardian Online [online] 27 August. Available at: http://mg.co.za/article/2009-08-27-grammar-of-violence.

Rodriguez, E., Gie, J. & Haskins, C., 2006. Informal dwelling count for Cape Town (1993-2005) [pdf]. Cape Town: Information and Knowledge Management Department, City of Cape Town. Available at: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/stats/CityReports/Documents/Informal%20Settlements/Informal_Dwelling_Count_38200681212_359.pdf.

Romanovsky, P., 2006. Executive summary: Population projection for Cape Town 2001-2021[pdf]. Cape Town: Information and Knowledge Management Department, City of Cape Town. Available at: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/stats/CityReports/Documents/Population%20Projection/Population_Projection_for_Cape_Town_2001-2021_1992006151750_359.pdf.

Samodien, L., 2012. Housing backlog stretches back 24 years, court told. Cape Times, 20 Jan., p. 5.

Shaky Foundation, 2012. Cape Times, 23 Jan., p. 10.

Small, K., 2008. 2006 general household survey analysis for Cape Town [pdf]. Cape Town: Strategic Development Information and GIS Department, City of Cape Town. Available at: http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/stats/CityReports/Documents/Households/GHS_2006_Report_2822008102848_359.pdf.

South African Council for Social Service Professions, 2009. SACSSP annual report 2008/2009 [pdf]. Pretoria: SACSSP. Available at: http://www.sacssp.co.za/UserFiles/File/SACSSP%20Annual%20Report%202008%20to%202009.pdf.

South African Police Service, 2011. SAPS together squeezing crime to zero, annual report 2010/2011 [pdf]. Pretoria: South African Police Service. Available at: http://www.saps.gov.za/saps_profile/strategic_framework/annual_report/index.htm;

South African Police Service, 2011. Crime in Western Cape (provincial total) for April to March 2003/2004 - 2010/2011 [pdf]. Pretoria: South African Police Service. Available at: http://www.saps.gov.za/statistics/reports/crimestats/2011/province.htm.

Sylvester-Rose, L., 2008. Department of Social Development Youth Programme Concept Paper [pdf]. Cape Town: Western Cape Department of Social Development. Available at: http://www.westerncape.gov.za/other/2009/10/concept_paper_-___programme_youth.pdf.

projects

Resilience to Violence Campaign

Resilience is the ability to adapt positively to adversity.

Non-Violent Parenting Campaign

Work with young parents and parents of teenagers is very popular.

Read about the Needs that exist in our communities.

advocacy

ARMS DEAL



STATE CAPTURE



SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY (SASSA)



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