Johannesburg Safer than Cape Town

This week sees another boost, of sorts: it transpires that, contrary to the stereotype of darkest Africa, South Africa is not high on the list of the most dangerous places to visit.

The Citizen Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice (an NGO in Mexico) released their report of the 2011, 50 Most Violent Cities in the World

The report focused on urban areas with more than 300 000 inhabitants where murder statistics are available. The Council then looked at the murder rate per 100 000 people. Arguably not surprising is that the top 5 cities are all in Mexico. In fact 40 of the 50 most dangerous cities are all in Latin America.  

What does come as a surprise to many is that Cape Town, beautiful, laid back Cape Town comes in at number 34, Port Elizabeth at number 41, Durban takes the 49th place and Johannesburg the 50th slot. Had anyone locally had to make a guess a week ago, Johannesburg would almost certainly have come out heading the list.

As such, while it is by no means commendable to make a list of the most violent cities in the world – being lumped together with established dangerous zones like Ciudad Juarez in Mexico or Cali in Columbia – Joburgers might have been pleasantly surprised and one could forgive them for sharing a snigger or two at the news.

The City of Gold might not have a world famous mountain or the ocean but, it is a great town for doing business in and, one could hope that people’s perspectives on how dangerous it is might be altered, even if ever so slightly, by the news that it’s not quite Sodom and Gomorrah.

Of course, first prize would be not having any area of South Africa on the list at all but, in the meantime the silver lining might be that prospective property buyers will take another look at Johannesburg. “Joburg is a fantastic city brimming with opportunities for entrepreneurs. It vibrates with energy and is a great place to live. It’s worthwhile taking a look at the local property market and this news can’t hurt”, says Jan le Roux, CEO of Leapfrog Property Group.

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