Crime in South
Gr aph of South Africa 's mur der rate (mur ders per
100,000 people) o ver a 100-y ear period fr om 1915 to
2015. The mur der rate incr eased rapidly in the 1980s
reaching its peak in 1993 then decr easing until
bottoming out in 2011.
South Africa has a notably high rate of
murders, assaults, r apes and other violent
crimes, compared with most countries.
In Februar y 2007, the Centre for the Study
of Violence and Reconciliation was
contracted b y the South African
government t o carry out a study on the
nature of crime in South Africa. The study
concluded that the countr y is exposed to
high levels of violence as a r esult of
different fact ors.
The normalisation of violence. Violence
comes to be seen as a necessar y and
justi?ed means of resolving con?ict, and
males believe that coer cive sexual
beha viour against women is legitimate.
The r eliance on a criminal justice
system that is mir ed in many issues,
including inef?ciency and corruption.
A subculture of violence and criminality ,
ranging fr om individual criminals who
rape or r ob to informal gr oups or more
formalised gangs. Those inv olved in the
subcultur e are engaged in criminal
and commonly use ?r earms,
with the exception of Cape T own where
knife violence is mor e prevalent.
Cr edibility within this subcultur e is
related t o the readiness t o resor t to
extr eme violence.
The vulner ability of young people link ed
to inadequate child r earing and poor
youth socialisation. As a r esult of
pover ty, unstable living arr angements
and being brought up with inconsistent
and uncaring par enting,
African children are exposed t o risk
factors which enhance the chances that
they will become inv olved in criminality
The high levels of inequality , pover ty,
unemplo yment, social ex clusion and
A sur ve y for the period 1990–2000
compiled b y the United Nations Of?ce on
Drugs and Crime rank ed South Africa
second for assault and mur der (by all
means) per capita and ?rst for r apes per
capita in a data set of 60 countries.
crime per capita was 10th out of the 60
countries in the dataset.
The United Nations Interr egional Crime
and Justice Research Institute have
on the victims of
crime which shows the pictur e of South
African crime as more typical of a
developing countr y.
Recently r eleased statistics fr om the
South African Police Service (SAPS) and
Statistics South Africa (SSA) saw a slight
decline of 1.4% in violent crimes
committed in South Africa.
Most emigr ants from South Africa state
that crime was a big fact or in their
decision to leave.
Around 49 people ar e murdered in South
Africa e ver y da y.
The mur der rate
increased r apidly in the late-1980s and
Between 1994 -2009, the
murder r ate halv ed from 67 t o 34 mur ders
per 100,000 people.
it stabilised t o around 32 homicides per
100,000 people although the t otal number
of lives lost has incr eased due to the
increase in population.
Ther e have been
numer ous press reports on the
manipulation of crime statistics that ha ve
highlighted the existence of incentiv es not
to r ecor d violent crime.
murder statistics ar e considered
In the 2016/17 y ear, the r ate
of murders incr eased to 52 a da y, with
19,016 mur ders recorded between April
2016 t o March 2017.
Homicides per 100,000 fr om April to
Nor th W est37.644.546.738.940.931.6220.127.116.115.923.922.8
The country has one of the highest r ates
of rape in the world, with some 65,000
rapes and other sexual assaults r eported
for the y ear ending in Mar ch 2012, or
127.6 per 100,000 people in the
The incidence of r ape has
led to the countr y being referr ed t o as the
"rape capital of the world".
One in thr ee
of the 4,000 women questioned b y the
Community of Information, Empowerment
and Transpar ency said the y had been
raped in the past y ear.
Mor e than 25%
of South African men questioned in a
surve y published b y the Medical Resear ch
Council (MRC) in June 2009 admitted t o
rape; of those, nearly half said the y had
raped mor e than one person.
out of four of those who had admitted
rape indicated that the y had attacked for
the ?rst time during their teenage y ears.
South Africa has amongst the highest
incidences of child and baby rape in the
South Africa has a high r ecord of
carjacking when compar ed with other
company Hollar d Insur ance stated in 2007
that the y would no longer insur e
Volkswagen Citi Golfs, as the y were one of
the countr y's most fr equently carjack ed
Cer tain high-risk ar eas are
marked with r oad signs indicating a high
incidence of carjackings within the
Crime against white commer cial farmers
and their black staff
has gained notable
press, giv en the countr y's past r acial
however , ther e is
insuf?cient data t o demonstrate that white
farmers are targeted at a higher r ate than
the general population
Kidnapping in South Africa is common in
the country, with o ver 4,100 occurring in
the 2013/2014 period, and a child going
missing e ver y ?v e hours.
PricewaterhouseCoopers's four th biennial
Global E conomic Crime Sur ve y r epor ted a
110% incr ease in fraud reports from South
African companies in 2005. 83% of South
African companies r eported being
affected b y white collar crime in 2005, and
72% of South African companies r eported
being affected in 2007. 64% of the South
African companies sur ve yed stated that
the y pr essed for ward with criminal
char ges upon detection of fr aud. 3% of
companies said that the y each lost more
than 10,000,000 South African rand in two
years due t o fraud.
Louis Str ydom, the head of
PricewaterhouseCooper 's for ensic
auditing division, said that the incr ease in
fraud r eports originates fr om "an
increased focus on fr aud risk
management and embedding a cultur e of
whistle-blowing." Accor ding to the sur ve y
45% of cases inv olved a perpetr ator
between the ages of 31 and 40: 64% of
con men held a high school education or
Advance f ee fraud
Advance f ee fraud scammers based in
South Africa ha ve in past y ears reportedly
conned people fr om various par ts of the
world out of millions of r ands.
African police sources stated that
Nigerians living in Johannesburg suburbs
operate advance f ee fraud (419)
In 2002, the South African Minister of
Finance, Tre vor Manuel, wanted t o make a
call centr e for businesses t o check
reputations of businesses due t o
prolif eration of scams such as adv ance
fee fr aud, pyr amid schemes and ?y-b y-
night oper ators.
In r esponse, the South
African P olice Service has established a
project which has identi?ed 419 scams,
closing websites and bank accounts
wher e possible.
Gated communities are popular with the
South African middle-class, Black as much
Gated communities ar e
usually protected by high perimeter walls
topped with electric f encing, guard dogs,
barred doors and windows and alarm
systems link ed to priv ate security
The Gauteng Rationalisation of
Local Go vernment Affairs Act 10 of 1998,
allows communities t o "restrict" access t o
public roads in existing suburbs, under the
supervision of the municipalities. The law
requir es that entr y control measur es
within these communities should not deny
anyone access. The T shwane municipality
failed to process many of the applications
it has received, lea ving many suburbs
exposed t o high levels of crime. Se ver al
communities successfully sued, won and
ar e now legally r estricting access.
These measur es are gener ally consider ed
effectiv e in r educing crime (within those
Consequently , the number of
enclosed neighbourhoods (existing
neighbourhoods that ha ve contr olled
access acr oss existing r oads)
Gauteng has continued t o grow.
Priv ate security companies
The South African P olice Service is
responsible for managing 1,115 police
stations across South Africa.
To pr otect themselv es and their assets,
many businesses and middle-t o-high-
income households make use of privately
owned security companies with armed
security guar ds. The South African P olice
Service emplo y private security companies
to patr ol and saf eguard certain police
stations, ther eby fr eeing fully tr ained
police of?cers t o perform their cor e
function of preventing and combating
A December 2008 BBC
documentar y, Law and Disor der in
Johannesburg, examined such ?rms in the
Johannesburg area, including the Bad
Boyz security company .
It is argued that the police r esponse is
generally too slow and unr eliable, thus
private security companies off er a popular
form of protection. Priv ate security ?rms
promise r esponse times of two t o three
Many le vels of pr otection ar e
offered, fr om suburban foot patr ols to
complete security checkpoints at the entr y
points to homes.
The government has been criticised for
doing t oo little t o stop crime. Pr ovincial
legislators have stated that a lack of
suf?cient equipment has r esulted in an
ineffectiv e and demor alised South African
Police Ser vice.
The Government was
subject t o particular criticism at the time
of the Minister of Saf ety and Security visit
to Burundi, for the purpose of pr omoting
peace and democracy, at a time of
heightened crime in Gauteng. This spate
included the mur der of a signi?cant
number of people, including members of
the South African P olice Service, killed
while on duty .
The criticism was
followed by a ministerial announcement
that the go vernment would focus its
effor ts on mitigating the causes for the
increase in crime b y 30 December 2006. In
one province alone, nineteen police
of?cers lost their liv es in the ?rst seven
months of 2006.
Recently , the government had a widely
publicised gun amnesty pr ogr am t o reduce
the number of weapons in priv ate hands.
In 1996 or 1997, the government has tried
and failed t o adopt the National Crime
Prevention Str ategy, which aimed t o
prevent crime thr ough reinforcing
community structur es and assisting
individuals to get back int o work.
A previous Minister of Saf ety and Security,
Charles Nqakula, evok ed public outcr y
among South Africans in June 2006 when
he responded t o opposition MPs in
parliament who were not satis?ed that
enough was being done t o counter crime,
suggesting that MPs who complain about
the country's crime r ate should st op
complaining and leave the countr y.
Crime Expo South Africa
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Archiv ed 4 April 2012 at the Wayback
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Institute for Security Studies – A
regional r esearch institute oper ating
across sub-Sahar an Africa.
WhiteCollarCrime.co.za – An initiative
of Business Against Crime to help
people understand and r ecognise white
collar crime and to teach about its
SAPS Crime Statistics 2010 – Crime
statistics b y year and categor y provided
by the South African P olice Service
Interactiv e Crime Map – Crime and
Economic Statistics b y year and
categor y on a geogr aphic, interactive
map provided b y the Centr e for Justice
and Crime Pr evention (CJCP).
South African Crime Map– South
African Crime Map (Cr owd Sourcing)
Neighbourhood W atch Crime Map
Crime Watch – An initiativ e to educate
people about crime pr evention as well
as pr ovide a community forum.
Retrie ved fr om
"https:/ /en.wikipedia.or g/w/index.php?
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