Murder most foul: SA's deadliest provinces

Police in KwaZulu-Natal recorded the most murders in South Africa during the 2013/2014 period.

The 2013/2014 crime statistics were released in Pretoria this morning. Picture: Facebook.

JOHANNESBURG - The 2013/2014 crime statistics were released in Pretoria this morning, and while the police have been criticised for releasing the records well after the incidents occured, the numbers are a good indicator on whether the country is becoming safer.

The statistics for murder are often held up as a strong gauge of safety for one simple reason - it's hard to hide the death of a human being. Murders show how we are treating each other, either as acquaintances or strangers.

The police's statistics show 17,068 murders were recorded in the 2013/2014 year, up from 16,259 in 2012/2013 - that's a 5 percent increase. If those numbers don't stir up concern, consider this: 17,068 cases translate into close to 47 murders a day, or just under two murders every hour.

KwaZulu-Natal could be considered the "riskiest" province, with 3,625 cases reported by police for the latest full financial year. In the previous year, 3,629 people were killed in the coastal province.

Police in the Eastern Cape dealt with the murders of 3,453 people, an increase of 3.3% from the previous year's number.

Gauteng, the most populous province in South Africa, saw a marked spike in murders, with 11.2% more cases reported in 2013/2014. A total of 3,333 people were killed in the province during that period.

Last year, Langa was unofficially named the "most dangerous place to live" because of the high murder rate relative to its population, and murders in the township's province, the Western Cape, increased by a concerning 12.8%. In 2012/2013, 2,580 murders were recorded, while 2,909 cases were filed over the next 12 months.

The country's five other provinces all recorded less than 1,000 murder cases each.

Free State: 946 cases.

North West: 825 cases.

Mpumalanga: 810 cases.

Limpopo: 729 cases.

Northern Cape: 438 cases.