News / South Africa

Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
1 minute read
26 Oct 2018
6:45 am

Violent crimes on the increase in Gauteng

Brian Sokutu

The violence extends to the casualty unit of Baragwanath Hospital, where patients sometimes threaten staff who treat more than 3,000 trauma injuries a month.

The entrance to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, 7 June 2015, in Soweto, Johannesburg. Picture: Alaister Russell

Violent crimes are on the rise in Gauteng, with more than 3 000 people being treated a month for violence and accident-related injuries at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto.

In reply to a question from Democratic Alliance (DA) health spokesperson Jack Bloom, Gauteng health MEC Dr Gwen Ramokgopa said this week that 40 802 patients were treated in the hospital’s trauma emergency unit last year.

Of them, 15 853 people had orthopaedic injuries, 9 203 were classified as other, 5 052 were assault victims, 3 235 had stab wounds, 2 601 were injured in car accidents, 2 036 were pedestrians hit by vehicles, 1 628 had burns, 949 had gunshot wounds and 36 were suicides by hanging.

Last year, 3 400 trauma injuries were treated per month – a slight decrease compared with the 3 141 injuries per month treated this year.

The violence extends to the casualty unit of Baragwanath, where patients sometimes threaten staff.

According to Ramokgopa, there was a major incident on July 24.

“Most of the incidents which happen over the weekend and on public holidays are due to alcohol. They get injured and want to be the first to be assisted when they arrive at casualty,” said Ramokgopa in her reply.

Bloom commented: “It is distressing that violence and car accidents put such a huge strain on this hospital.

“The overall damage to society of these injuries is enormous.

“A broad approach is needed to bring down violent crime and road accidents, much of which are fuelled by alcohol.”

According to 2017-18 national crime statistics, South Africa is among the most violent countries in the world. Fifty-seven people die daily in gun and knife attacks here.

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