The critical environmental and sustainability issues of South Africa:
1. Sexual violence
During 2015/16, there were 51,895 crimes of a sexual nature reported to the South African Police Service. A woman being raped over the age of 25 has a one in four chance that her attacker is HIV positive. The Tears Foundation and the MRC stated 50% of South Africa’s children will be abused before the age of 18. Estimations are that 14% of perpetrators of rape are actually convicted in South Africa. In teenagers, a 2007 survey by CIET found 60% of both boys and girls, aged 10 to 19 years old, thought it was not violent to force sex upon someone they knew, while around 11% of boys and 4% of girls admitted to forcing someone else to have sex with them.
Youth unemployment rose to 55.2% in the first quarter of 2019, from 54.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects unemployment in the country to rise marginally and remain sticky around 27% between 2019 and 2020.
Around 57 people are murdered in South Africa every day. And World Health Organization (WHO) data for 2016 for the murder rate of women and girls puts South Africa amongst the four worst countries. There were also increases in arson (5.5%), attempted murder (4.1%) and common assault (3.7%).
4. Water Crisis
In January 2018, when officials in Cape Town announced that the city of 4 million people was three months away from running out of municipal water, the world was stunned. The Water and Sanitation Department says more than five million South Africans do not have access to reliable drinking water. Labelled “Day Zero” by local officials and brought on by three consecutive years of anemic rainfall, April 12, 2018, was to be the date of the largest drought-induced municipal water failure in modern history.
South Africa’s third largest city by population has reported that the number of households living in informal dwellings in the city has remained stubbornly high at 317,613. These informal dwellings didn’t have any proper facilitation of hygienic sanitation. Cities should be planned more wisely for as to have managerial ease.
5. Xenophobia attacks
Violent attacks peaked in 2008 and again in 2015. About 70% of foreigners in South Africa come from neighbouring Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Lesotho. Between 2000 and March 2008, at least 67 people died in what were identified as xenophobic attacks. Between 2010 and 2017 the immigrant community in South Africa increased from 2 million people to 4 million people. The remaining 30% is made up of people from Malawi, UK, Namibia, Eswatini, previously known as Swaziland, India and other countries.