According to the Missing Persons Bureau, a child goes missing every 6 hours in South Africa, which adds up to 1460 cases a year reported to the South African Police Service. Missing Children South Africa, an organisation that assists the South African Police Service in finding people and creating national awareness, has recently announced their statistics on cases from 1 December 2011 to 30 November 2012.

Currently approximately 560 cases per year are reported to Missing Children SA.  This figure increases every year, not necessarily because more and more individuals go missing, but most probably because more people become aware of Missing Children SA and the service they render.

Herewith the statistics of cases (children and adults) reported to Missing Children SA over the past 12 months (these figures are based on cases reported only to Missing Children SA and do not reflect all the cases reported to SAPS).

Category Adults Children Total
Missing 256 304 560
Found 192 274 466

Herewith a breakdown of the total cases per province:

Province Adults Children Cases Reported
Missing Found Missing Found Missing Found
Gauteng 141 104 144 136 267 240
Western Cape 70 55 84 74 154 129
KwaZulu Natal 17 12 35 29 52 41
Eastern Cape 10 8 9 7 19 15
Mpumalanga 3 2 11 9 14 11
North West 3 2 10 8 13 10
Free State 7 6 6 6 13 12
Limpopo 5 3 4 4 9 7
Northern Cape 0 0 1 1 1 1

Below are the reasons children are reported missing (see % for each category):

Category % of Cases Reported
Getting Lost 36%
Runaways 25%
Unknown 21%
Kidnappings (by strangers) 9%
Found Deceased 3%
Parental Abductions 3%
Human Trafficking 2%

Below, please find the break-down (in percentage) of the different ages of children reported to Missing Children SA:

Age Percentage
0 – 6 years 23%
7 – 12 years 19%
13 – 18 years 58%

The racial groups (in %) according to cases Missing Children SA has worked on, is as follows:

Black Africans Brown/Coloured Caucasian Other (Indian, Asian)
34% 25% 35% 6%

The months with the most cases reported to Missing Children SA were November 2012 (73 cases), December 2011 (60 cases) and February 2012 (55 cases). The month with the least cases reported was October 2012, with only 32 cases. The total individuals found deceased from 1 December 2011 to 30 November 2012 were 26 (children were 9 and 17 adults).

This means that Missing Children SA has an overall success rate of 83%.  For the children’s cases alone the success rate is 90%.  It is an unfortunate reality that 3% of the children were found deceased.

For more information about Missing Children SA and the work that they do, visit www.missingchildren.org.za or email info@missingchildren.org.za.

To help us fight Human Trafficking – SMS ‘fight’, followed by your name and surname to 42141 to donate R10 towards Missing Children SA and stand a chance to win in our monthly draw.

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