Violent Deaths and its Predictors in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal
Introduction: Violence is increasingly being recognized, as not only a public health problem, but also a development problem. This is because it has become a major cause of death and disability; and directly or indirectly, it impedes the attainment of some of the key global development goals. It is also costing countries billions of dollars each year in health care and law enforcement; and it slows economic growth by eroding personal and collective security. Despite the lack of ideologically driven spates of violence, South Africa has one of the highest prevalence of violence deaths in the world; where it has been described as an epidemic. For example, in 2008 alone, 38% of all deaths in South Africa were attributed to violence; and this declined to 36.7% in 2011 and to 31.1% in 2013. Gauteng province, with 24.0 deaths, and KwaZulu-Natal province with 35.1 deaths per 100,000of the population are among the provinces with the highest prevalence of violent deaths in South Africa. Main aim and objective: The main aims of this study were twofold: Firstly, to examine the dynamics of violent deaths by the use of the Social Ecological Model (SEM); and secondly, to examine community-level attitudes and perceptions regarding violent beliefs and behaviours by the use of the Experiential Learning Theory (EL T) in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. Methodology: The study used the data on decedents from the 2001-2015 Civil Registration Systems; cross-sectional data on 282 decedents; and the data on survivors from 1319 households in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The sample for the survey was derived by the use of Cochran's sampling method. The data on decedents in the cross-sectional survey were collected from adult surviving heads of household or their representatives. The data were analysed by the use of the Pearson's Chi-square statistic, Kaplan-Meier survival methods, the Binary Logistic-regression model and the multinomial logistic regression model. Results: The study found that more than one quarter of decedents were victims of violent deaths. The key individual-level factors influencing VDV were: being a male decedent; belonging to the young adult age group; being a black decedent and consuming alcohol and drugs. Never having been married, currently married or cohabiting; and belonging to a gang subculture. These were significant relationship predictors of increased VDV. Additionally, community-level factors predicting VDV were: having resided in urban areas, having lived in Gauteng province, having lived in communities; where the violence expectancy is high; and having favourable attitudes to the possession of weapons and revenge violence. Furthermore, just over one quarter of the surviving-study respondents reported a favourable attitude to the possession of weapons and revenge violence. Havingexperienced VDV as a secondary victim , was a significant predictor of increased favourable attitudes to the possession of weapons and revenge violence. Other control factors predicting increased favourable attitudes to the possession of weapons and revenge violence were: being male, a young adult and a black. Conclusion: The study concludes that VDV is prevalent in South Africa in general, and in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces in particular. The finding suggests that the high level of VDV could be influenced by the high prevalence of violent crime in South Africa. Additionally, favourable attitudes to the possession of weapons suggest that perception of vulnerability to violent victimization and violent-crime expectation is high. The favourable attitude to revenge violence also suggests that the population believe that the formal and legal justice system does not deliver commensurate justice to victims of violence, thereby enabling aggrieved parties to have favourable attitudes to revenge violence.
- Humanities