The Shocking Truth

Updated: Apr 10, 2020

Television programmes tell us that you have to wait at least 24 hours before you can report a missing person; this is far from the truth in South Africa. The moment you suspect that a loved one is missing, go to your nearest police station and report them as missing.

In South Africa, a child goes missing every five hours. This equates to 4.7 children daily, 141 per month and 1692 annually, according to the most recent data from the South African Police Service Missing Persons Bureau (SAPSMPB). Data for the period 01 December 2014 to 30 November 2015 from Missing Children South Africa (MCSA) shows a slight increase in the number of missing people reported.

“The data is frightening and also raises cause for concern because despite the efforts made by the SAPSMPB and organisations such as MCSA – there is still a large number of missing people that are not accounted for, which leads to underlying concerns that highlight bigger problems in society,” says Cartrack’s Marketing and Communications manager Jacqui Marsh.

While the overall success rate of MCSA is at 68 percent, it’s not enough to understand the latent factors that influence why people go missing in the country due to: Runaways, kidnappings, human trafficking, and children that have been found who are seeking their biological family as well as unknown reasons.

The Statistics Reveal:

  1. The age group with the most reported cases to MCSA is between the ages of 13 to 17.

  2. The distribution across race: Caucasian 37%, Coloured 31%, African 28%, and Indian/Asian 4%.

  3. Geographically: The province with the highest number of missing persons’ cases is the Western Cape with a total of 175 adults and 107 children reported missing. This is followed by Johannesburg with 158 adults and 112 children reported missing.

For more information about MCSA, visit


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