Top three fake facts for October

Africa Check's senior researcher, Kate Wilkinson returned to the Azania Mosaka Show on Monday to debunk some popular statements that may have been deemed factual.

Wilkinson says Africa Check cannot verify every fact but hope through their work, they are able to teach people to think about things they hear, how to question things and verify what they come across.

Here are three popular reports Wilkinson verifies:

1) Do only 14% of South African read book?

This a stat we've seen over the last couple of years. It pops up everytime there is a headline about literacy. And our minister of basic education has been one to push this stat quite a few times.

Kate Wilkinson, senior researcher, Africa Check

Wilkinson says Africa Check called the basic education department to find out how they came to that conclusion. She adds that they were told the numbers came from a study but it only looked at grade four learners. We knew that this can't be used to look a country as a whole.

Over 16 million adults in South Africa reported living in households with no books.

2) The private health care only serves 16% of the South African population

We got in touch with the health minister's spokesperson and asked for the source of this claim and found that this statistic refers to the percentage of people who are on medical aid. They told us they got this number from the Council for Medical Schemes.

Kate Wilkinson, senior researcher, Africa Check

The Council for Medical Schemes 2015 annual report noted that only 16% of the population belonged to a medical scheme while the rest of the population depends on an over burdened burdened government sector.

Kate Wilkinson, senior researcher, Africa Check

3) Does Gauteng have the highest murder rate?

There were a few problems with this claim but there were definitely the most numbers of murders recorded in Gauteng.

Kate Wilkinson, senior researcher, Africa Check

A murder rate is a way to assess risk proportionately explains Wilkinson, who adds that it is important to take into account the number of crimes committed and the number of people or potential victims in as area.

When you calculate Gauteng's murder rate what you see is that it was 29.3%. Almost thirty people were murdered for every hundred thousand.

Kate Wilkinson, senior researcher, Africa Check

Listen to the clip below for more:


This article first appeared on 702 : Top three fake facts for October


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