Shocking stats on missing kids in SA

By Mieke Vlok
05 June 2015

A child goes missing in South Africa every five hours, Missing Children SA (MCSA) said on Thursday.

Johannesburg - A child goes missing in South Africa every five hours, Missing Children SA (MCSA) said on Thursday.

In 2013, the Missing Persons Bureau recorded 1 679 cases of missing children reported to the SA Police Service, MCSA said in a statement.

"Our case load increases every year - not necessarily only because more individuals go missing, but also because more people become aware of Missing Children SA and the service we render."

Between June 1 last year and May 31 this year, a total of 598 missing person cases were reported to the non-profit organisation.

Out of these, 362 were adults and 236 children. From those missing, 222 of the adults were found and 173 of the children.

"Therefore we have an overall success rate of 66%. For the children's cases alone, our success rate is 73%," MCSA said.

"It is an unfortunate reality that 3.8% of the children found again, were found deceased."

Success rate decreased

Every year, MCSA saw the success rate decrease, though they could not say for a fact that it was due to fewer children being found again, or whether more cases were being reported to the organisastion.

The vast majority of all cases reported to MCSA took place in Gauteng and Western Cape, accounting for 85% of reported cases for the period.

Gauteng accounted for 39.5% and 45.7% of all missing adult and children cases respectively. The Western Cape made up for 46.6% and 37.7% of missing adult and children cases.

Among the reasons children were reported missing were: 50.8% related to unknown reasons, 45.3% were run-aways, while 1.2% were parental or family abductions.

Other categories were: victims of crime, stranger abduction, and confirmed human trafficking. They accounted for less than 1% of reported cases.

Teens most affected

Of reported missing children cases, 13.1% involved children between the ages of 0 and 6; 18.2% were children between 7 and 12; and 68.6% involved children between 13 and 17.

Out of the 598 missing adult and children cases reported to MCSA for the period, 9 of the children were found dead, while 33 of the adults suffered the same fate.

The racial distribution of missing cases saw a relatively even split, where 33.6% of cases involved Africans, 31.1% involved coloureds, and 31.9% involved whites.

A total of 3.3% of cases involved other racial groups, such as Indians and Asians.


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