Firearms Control Briefing 2 of 2019 summarises a comprehensive report Western Cape Injury Mortality Profile: 2010-2016, which tracks the pattern of fatal injuries in the Western Cape over seven years.

The report shows that gun deaths in the province have doubled between 2010 and 2016.

Although dramatic and higher than the national average, the pattern of steadily rising gun deaths in recent years is not limited to the Western Cape; it is countrywide, as a forthcoming publication Gun Control & Violence: South Africa’s Story shows.

The steady increase in gun violence from late 2010 across South Africa can be directly linked to a breakdown in gun control. Poor enforcement and compliance, whether inadvertently or due to deliberate criminality, have created a vacuum which has led to an increase in the availability of guns.

Guns are designed to kill. Data show that gunshot injuries are 18 times more lethal than stab wounds: One in three people who are shot will die, while one in 55 people who are stabbed will die.

Unless urgent action is taken to recover and destroy existing stockpiles and limit the flow of new guns into communities, South Africa will again experience the unprecedented levels of gun violence of the 1990s.


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