Crime and Substance Abuse Rates in Johannesburg Increase

In this picture taken on July 17, 2015 an addict of the drug cocktail known locally as Nyaope (Nyope) injects himself with the drug in an abandoned building in Simuneye township on the outskirts of Johannesburg. The drug, a highly addictive cocktail of ingredients allegedly including low-grade heroin and antiretroviral drugs designed to fight AIDS, is an increasing problem in South Africa's townships. AFP PHOTO/MUJAHID SAFODIEN / AFP PHOTO / MUJAHID SAFODIEN

Download PDF

Johannesburg residents are tired of crime and drug abuse in the inner city. Benjamin, a Malawian national is one such resident who has been living in the inner city of Johannesburg for the past three years now. According to him, the crime rates have gotten higher than ever since he got to Johannesburg.

He feels the corruption of the government and the SAPS are the biggest contributors to crime and drug abuse. “I know for a fact that the SAPS knows who are the dealers and even when they are arrested, two weeks down the line they are released,” testified Benjamin. He added how laws in Malawi are much more strict and far more effective as compared to South Africa.

Benjamin had this to add; “If only I had the resources and money, I would bring in strict rules because we know who those dealers are.” He concluded by asking “if you want to change the city or report any crime but need help where can you go?”

According to Rohan from India, “South African crime is worse when compared to my country”. Rohan owns a business in one of the buildings in the Johannesburg inner city and has been staying in Johannesburg since 2009. He has never reported the incidents of crime that he been victim of because he doesn’t trust the justice system of South Africa.

“I was robbed even after lockdown and I didn’t report it because nothing will happen to the criminals,” says Rohan. Rohan said; “In this area crime and drug abuse are very high and it is not safe and not clean. It has become more dangerous compared to 2009-2010.”
It is very sad to see how the citizens of Johannesburg have to live in fear and cannot trust nor believe in the justice system to save or protect them. Johannesburg need to be clean, safe, and drug-free. The government needs to do something about the crime in the inner city so that the residents and workers can be safe.

This article was submitted on 11 December 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (, and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.

Previous Life as a Homeless Person in Johannesburg
Next Jack-boot bosses of the eighties are back