South Africa, a recent press release said, is “one of only twelve countries in the world where it is safe to drink…tap water” and the “quality of South African tap water is ranked third best overall”. The claim was widely reported. It is not true.
South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority routinely boasts remarkably high conviction rates. It uses them to reject criticism of its performance. But as it only prosecutes cases it is likely to win, they are unreliable measures of success in tackling crime.
The number of rhinos being poached each year in South Africa is rising worryingly. But the reports this weekend that Kruger National Park could lose 1,000 rhino in 2013 are alarmist. The facts show a much lower trend.
President Jacob Zuma’s suggestion that the South African soldiers killed in the Central African Republic (CAR) were on nothing but a training mission is misleading. It was revealed in 2011 that SANDF soldiers were also in Bangui to protect the CAR president.
A survey published this week claimed that a third of South African adults are regular drug users, dagga use has risen by 11% in the past year and the use of methamphetamines by a staggering 88%. While well-intentioned, the results of the survey are unrepresentative. More research – and more questioning by journalists – is needed.
The claim that 28 percent of South African schoolgirls are living with HIV started with a remark by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, misreported by The Sowetan. Unquestioned, it has been repeated by media across the country and the world. The true rate is half that.
Gauteng is proposing a ban on Sunday alcohol sales to reduce the harm done by alcohol abuse. A major study backs the government claim that this would work, but only if action is taken to crack down on illegal sales.
All sides agree one thing: gun crime in South Africa is too high. But the white population of South Africa has no greater reason than others to fear gun crime, and evidence suggests that owning guns may not always make the owners, and their visitors, safer. It may do the reverse.
President Jacob Zuma gave the annual State of the Nation Address on Thursday night in Cape Town. We asked you to tell us which claims were the most significant and we fact-checked them. Some of them we are still checking. So how did he do?
The South African Council of Churches was wrong to claim last week, ahead of the latest horrific incident, that we can assume a link between the availability of pornography and the incidence of rape. No evidence of this exists. Other factors are the key to the high number of rapes.