Six SA cities make top 20 list of the ‘most dangerous cities in the world’

Six South African cities recently ranked among the global top 20 of the most dangerous cities to live in.


According to the Crime Index by City 2021 survey carried out by statistics website Numbeo, Pretoria is the third most dangerous city to live in after Caracas in Venezuela and Port Moresby in New Guinea.

Durban came in fourth place, Johannesburg in fifth place, Pietermaritzburg in seventh place with Port Elizabeth taking up the 14th ranking and the 19th city being Cape Town.

Windhoek, Namibia came in at 27th place.

Rank City Crime Index Safety Index
1 Caracas, Venezuela 84.68 15.32
2 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea 82.04 17.96
3 Pretoria, South Africa 81.94 18.06
4 Durban, South Africa 80.84 19.16
5 Johannesburg, South Africa 80.65 19.35
6 San Pedro Sula, Honduras 80.04 19.96
7 Pietermaritzburg, South Africa 79.73 20.27
8 Natal, Brazil 79.21 20.79
9 Fortaleza, Brazil 78.16 21.84
10 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 77.52 22.48


Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi was ranked as the safest city in the world, while Dubai and Sharjah, also in the United Arab Emirates, were placed in the top ten, along with Doha in Qatar, Geneva in Switzerland, Taipei in Taiwan and Quebec City, Canada.

“The data is based on surveys from visitors of this website,” writes Numbeo. “Questions for these surveys are similar to many similar scientific and government surveys.”


According to IOL, the survey Crime Index By City 2021 was a perception index based on respondents’ feelings rather than on crime statistics.

“To generate a current index, we use data up to 36 months old,” Numbeo writes further. “We only include cities for which there are at least a certain number of contributions. Crime Index is an estimation of overall level of crime in a given city or country.

“We consider crime levels lower than 20 as very low, crime levels between 20 and 40 as being low, crime levels between 40 and 60 as being moderate, crime levels between 60 and 80 as being high, and finally, crime levels higher than 80 as being very high,” it stated.

In the survey results, Pretoria’s crime index was 81.94, Durban 80.84, Johannesburg 80,65 and Pietermaritzburg 79.73.


In July 2020, South Africa’s crime statistics revealed an increase in the country’s already-high murder rate.

The annual report, issued by the South African Police Service (SAPS) examined ten-year trends associated with a host of various crimes. While a total of 15 893 murders were recorded in 2010, that number soared to 21 325 in the 2019/2020 financial year. A spike in killings compared to data gathered in 2018/2019 reveals a 1.4% increase, making the most recent year the deadliest on record.

The latest report also showed that, on average, 58 people are killed in South Africa on a daily basis, which placed the country only second to El Salvador as ‘murder capital’ of the world according to a study conducted by the United Nations.


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