Parliament must debate South Africa’s drop in Global Peace Index
Dianne Kohler Barnard, Shadow Minister of Police
27 June 2012
It is of serious concern that South Africa ranks only one place higher than Iran, and four places lower than Venezuela, on the Global Peace Index (GPI).
The DA will request a parliamentary debate on the GPI, in which South Africa was ranked 127th out of 158 countries, dropping 29 places from number 98 in 2007.
The GPI clearly highlights government’s failure to ensure that all South Africans can live lives free from fear.
In addition to exposing government’s failure to protect citizens from high levels of violent and contact crime, the Index also sheds light on its inability to ensure the social and economic safety and security of South Africans.
South Africa ranks far behind countries such as Zambia (51), Angola (95), Mozambique (48), Tanzania (55), Cambodia (108) and Vietnam (34). We also perform worse than countries such as Algeria (121), Tunisia (72) and Egypt (111), where governments were recently toppled through uprisings.
The GPI is developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace, in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence Unit and with the guidance of an international team of academics and peace experts. The Index is composed of 23 indicators, including perceived criminality in society, access to weapons, violent demonstrations, political terror and instability and deaths from internal conflicts. The Index has been tested against a range of potential drivers or determinants of peace, including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material well-being.
It is imperative that a meaningful debate is undertaken by Parliament, as the representative voice for the people of this country, to assess levels of physical, political, social and economic safety and security and to find effective ways of ensuring that all South Africans feel safe.