Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2024

According to Numbeo crime index, Pretoria is one of the most dangerous cities in South Africa.

South Africa's Most Dangerous Cities
South African police at the scene of a crime

South Africa was also ranked as the third most dangerous country in the world, with four local cities among the 10 most dangerous globally.

Among the cities ranked, Pretoria, Durban, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. All made the top 5 most dangerous cities in South Africa.

The Numbeo Crime Index is a perceptions index based on survey responses, where users were asked to score the level of crime in their country and city from bad (-2) to good (+2), where 0 is average.

The survey of in excess of 77,000 people, deals with citizens’ levels of fear around violent crimes, property being stolen, hate crimes based on ethnicity or religion, and even corruption and bribery.

As a perceptions index, it does not deal with actual crime stats, but rather how safe and secure citizens feel in their cities, with the safety index asking how safe they feel walking alone during the day and at night.

These are Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2024

Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2020

1. Pretoria

Crime Index: 81.63

Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2020

Pretoria is the most dangerous city to live in South Africa, according to Numbeo. As of March 2023, Numbeo rated the crime in Pretoria at 81.64 out of a possible crime score of 100, indicating it as being high.

2. Durban

Crime Index: 80.72

Nicknamed South Africa‘s car theft capital Durban is the second most dangerous city in Africa. As of March 2023, Numbeo rated the crime in Durban at 80.72 out of a possible crime score of 100, indicating it as being high.

3. Johannesburg

Crime Index: 80.69

Johannesburg: Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2020

Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city, with an estimated population of over 4 million people. Due to the many incidences of rape reported there, the city has been dubbed the “World’s Rape Capital”.

Xenophobic attacks against foreigners also tend to flare up in the low income townships when there is unrest in South Africa.

Numbeo ranks crime levels in Johannesburg as being very high, achieving a 80.69 out of a possible crime score of 100 as of March 2023.

4. Port Elizabeth

Crime Index: 76.57

Nicknamed the “Windy City” for its windy coastal clime. Port Elizabeth has a rich cultural heritage. However, crime is very high there, and Numbeo, as of March 2023, rates the crime levels there at 76.57 out of a possible crime score of 100.

Muggings and street crimes are common in Port Elizabeth much like in the rest of South Africa. Xenophobic attacks against foreigners also tend to flare up in Port Elizabeth when there is unrest in South Africa.

Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa 2020

5. Cape Town

Crime Index: 73.05

There is an entrenched gang culture with thousands of young men belonging to street gangs with names like “Hard Living” and “Young Americans”.

In 2019 bloodshed in mainly poor black and colored mixed-race areas forced the South Africa govt to deploy a battalion of soldiers to help police quell a surge in violence in gang-infested parts of Cape Town.

This is how the cities compare:

Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2020

Most Dangerous Cities in South Africa, 2024

Rank City Crime Index
1 Pretoria 81.63
2 Durban 80.72
3 Johannesburg 80.69
4 Port Elizabeth 76.57
5 Cape Town 73.05

Below are the most dangerous countries in Africa

Top 10 Most Dangerous Countries in Africa 2024

Rank City
1 Pretoria, South Africa
2 Durban, South Africa
3 Johannesburg, South Africa
4 Port Elizabeth, South Africa
5 Cape Town, South Africa
6 Windhoek, Namibia
7 Lagos, Nigeria
8 Tripoli, Libya
9 Harare, Zimbabwe
10 Nairobi, Kenya

Methodology

Numbeo’s multi-factorial analyses take into account such considerations as people feelings on the level of crime therein, recent changes in crime levels, safety walking alone, fears of muggings or robberies, vehicular security, perceived threat of assault and/or battery, being annoyed, harassed, insulted, or solicited by locals, racial, ethnic, and religious intolerance, and the threat of property theft.

Source: Numbeo

Modified on March, 2024

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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