Durban is third on the list of South African cities with the highest number of murders and aggravated robberies recorded in the country in 2010-11, according to the latest SA Survey by the SA Institute of Race Relations.
Cape Town recorded the highest murder rate, followed by Nelson Mandela Bay, while Durban came third and Johannesburg in fourth place.
The four cities have also made it into the list of 50 cities with the highest murder rates in the world in 2011.
But Institute for Security Studies senior crime and justice researcher Johan Burger disputed the value and usefulness of the survey, questioning why the focus was on murder.
Burger said that studies the ISS conducted had named other cities with the highest murder rates.
“I think we are confusing developments with every report surfacing, looking primarily at murder as a determinant factor. In the studies that we have done, metropoles such as Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela, King Sabata and Msunduzi have recorded the highest rate of murders,” he said.
“Given the types of crimes that most residents fear, many would consider Johannesburg to be the most feared city in SA,” said Kerwin Lebone of the institute’s research department.
Murder is a social contact crime that often occurs between people who know one another. Aggravated robbery, which occurs mostly at random, includes sub-categories such as hijacking and residential robbery.
The institute said there were six aggravated robbery cases for every murder in South Africa in 2010-11.
The aggravated robbery-murder ratio was 15:1 in Joburg; 8:1 in Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay and 6:1 in Cape Town.