Recently, the current affairs in South Africa have raised some serious flags. Femicide, missing children, protests and xenophobia plague social media posts and news headlines around the country. 

To say South Africa is in a sad state of affairs is an understatement but we’re taking a look at what is happening, how you can keep safe during this time and possibly even make a change.

The current affairs

The current affairs topics seem to centre around four main headlines – femicide, missing children, protests and xenophobia.  

Femicide 

By definition, femicide is the killing of females (being an adult or child) due to their gender. 

The murder statistics in South Africa are terrifying. Statistics from 2017/2018 show that 20 336 people were murdered of which 16 421 deaths were adult men and 2 930 were adult men. This may raise questions of why the outrage about women who were murdered if the amount is significantly lower? 

The answer to this is that the vast majority of women who are murdered are murdered by men and are murdered because they’re women. Men are murdered (more often than not) by men and these murders are not always related to sex crimes nor are they based on gender. 

According to an article by News24, South Africa is rated third in the world with the highest femicide rates. This is something deeply concerning and the safety of women all over our country is constantly in jeopardy. This is why it is vital that important safety measures are known, such as; 

  • Use apps like Life360 and Namola; Life360 is a location-sharing app where you can manage which ‘circles’ of friends and family you wish to share your location with. The Namola app is a South Africa-specific emergency app that allows you to send emergency responders your location and details when you’re in a dangerous situation. You can also share your location with a close loved one on this app.   
  • Keep a can of pepper spray on you (in your bag, in your car, as you walk).
  • Use a GPS to avoid getting lost in unfamiliar places.
  • Always let a friend or family member know where you are, where you are going and when you have arrived – it may sound pedantic but this could be what saves your life.
  • Limit distractions like checking your phone while walking to or from your car.
  • Avoid waiting in your car, driving with the windows open and keep the doors locked.

Missing Children

The rate that children are going missing in South Africa is devastating. This is a horrific thought for parents. There are multiple children missing in South Africa with one case in particular that went viral. A  6-year-old girl was kidnapped in front of her school right in front of her mother. A R 2 million ransom was demanded but due to the attention the case had garnered, the little girl was returned by the kidnappers. This is just one case with a happy ending but this is not the case in most instances. 

Some tips to keep your children safe include;

  • Never leave your child alone in public areas.
  • At social functions and public places like schools, places of worship or anywhere else, write your cell number on the inside of the child’s’ forearm.
  • Teach your child your contact numbers in case they need to get a hold of you.
  • You can buy your child a watch with a tracker inside, this way you can see where your children are, even when they’re not with you 

Protests 

South Africa has become known for its many protests and while these protests are done with due cause, they can spiral out of control.

It is essential to remain “in the know” on your current affairs and the unrest experienced by copious amounts of South Africans. Recently, protests on anti-femicide, poor service delivery and xenophobia are plaguing the streets. It is important to stay safe if you’re close to these protests;

  • Social media can help you find out about various activities
  • Check your usual route before you leave the house to ensure it’s clear
  • While you’re driving, make sure there are no hazards on the road and avoid areas where protests are taking place. 

Xenophobia

Xenophobic violence against Africans in South Africa is spreading and becoming increasingly violent. According to an article by the Mail & Guardian, “outbreak of mob violence and xenophobia was allegedly orchestrated by members of the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF), which held mass meetings that went into last weekend in different parts of Gauteng.”

The violence is widespread and has led to the burning and looting of various stores throughout the country and unnecessary harm to many people. 

The xenophobic attacks put South Africa in a terrible light internationally and have generated retaliation from the individuals who are under attack. The best solution is for the government to step in and take control of the situation but until then, it would be best to avoid areas where there is known unrest and to do your best to stay safe during these trying times. 

South Africa is in desperate need of intervention, the country is in a horrible state of disarray and the safety of many South African lives are at risk. Keep safe but if you feel at risk or need any advice on how to enhance your safety, feel free to contact us