The leader of South Africa’s Democratic Alliance, Helen Zille, has claimed that most of the party’s membership is “black”. But the DA’s membership records are secret and the evidence is anecdotal.
Do more than 94% of South Africans really have access to clean and safe drinking water? Water and Environment minister Edna Molewa has said they do. The claim is exaggerated.
South Africa’s police minister told parliament last week that civil damages claims totalling R7.1 billion were laid against the South African Police Service in the 2011 to 2012 financial year. In fact the closing balance of civil claims in March 2012 was more than twice that.
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.