Crime in South
Africa
Page issues
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.
Causes

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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
careers
1
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,
1
some South
African children are exposed t o risk
factors which enhance the chances that
they will become inv olved in criminality
and violence.

The high levels of inequality , pover ty,
unemplo yment, social ex clusion and
marginalisation.
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.
2
Total
crime per capita was 10th out of the 60
countries in the dataset.
The United Nations Interr egional Crime
and Justice Research Institute have
Violent crime

conducted research
3
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.
4
Most emigr ants from South Africa state
that crime was a big fact or in their
decision to leave.
5
Mur der

Around 49 people ar e murdered in South
Africa e ver y da y.
6
The mur der rate
increased r apidly in the late-1980s and
early-1990s.
7
Between 1994 -2009, the
murder r ate halv ed from 67 t o 34 mur ders
per 100,000 people.
8
Between 2011-2015,
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.
6
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.
9
Nonetheless,
murder statistics ar e considered
accurate.
10
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.
11
Homicides per 100,000 fr om April to
March:
1213
Rape
Province94/9595/9696/9797/9898/9999/0000/0101/0202/0303/0404/0505/06
Eastern
Cape
76.873.470.461.559.656.250.755.252.148.648.653.2
Free State50.654.050.746.143.338.633.934.235.230.530.729.5
Gauteng83.181.376.678.277.564.663.154.153.348.841.638.8
K wazulu-
Natal
95.092.576.472.975.167.761.457.056.553.951.149.9
Mpumalanga37.543.650.042.839.735.632.029.633.130.431.925.4
Nor th W est37.644.546.738.940.931.630.230.230.725.923.922.8
Northern
Cape
69.583.970.364.770.458.455.654.852.740.438.136.4
Limpopo22.219.819.019.318.415.314.616.113.212.913.812.9
Western
Cape
71.583.979.480.686.977.084.076.279.563.158.759.2
South Africa66.967.962.859.559.852.549.847.847.442.740.339.6

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
country.
1415
The incidence of r ape has
led to the countr y being referr ed t o as the
"rape capital of the world".
16
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.
17
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.
1819
Three
out of four of those who had admitted
rape indicated that the y had attacked for
the ?rst time during their teenage y ears.
18
South Africa has amongst the highest
incidences of child and baby rape in the
world.
20
Car hijackings
South Africa has a high r ecord of
carjacking when compar ed with other
industrialised countries.
21
Insurance
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
vehicles.
22
Cer tain high-risk ar eas are
marked with r oad signs indicating a high
incidence of carjackings within the
locality.
23
Farm attacks
Crime against white commer cial farmers
and their black staff
24
has gained notable
press, giv en the countr y's past r acial
tensions,
25262728
however , ther e is
insuf?cient data t o demonstrate that white
farmers are targeted at a higher r ate than
the general population
29

Kidnapping
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.
3031
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
Financial crimes

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
less.
32
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.
33
South
African police sources stated that
Nigerians living in Johannesburg suburbs
operate advance f ee fraud (419)
schemes.
34

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.
35
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.
36
Gated communities
Effects

Gated communities are popular with the
South African middle-class, Black as much
as White.
10
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
forces.
10
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.
373839
These measur es are gener ally consider ed
effectiv e in r educing crime (within those
areas).
40
Consequently , the number of
enclosed neighbourhoods (existing
neighbourhoods that ha ve contr olled
access acr oss existing r oads)
41
in
Gauteng has continued t o grow.
42
Priv ate security companies
The South African P olice Service is
responsible for managing 1,115 police

stations across South Africa.
43
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
crime.
44
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
minutes.
45
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
Reactions

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.
46
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 .
47
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.
48

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.
49
Crime Expo South Africa
1. "What burglars don't want you to know".
Local. Lowv elder. 26 July 2016. Retrie ved
See also
References

4 August 2016.
2. NationMaster: South African crime
statistics. Retrie ved 28 September 2006.
3. Victimisation in the de veloping world
Ar chiv ed 7 June 2007 at the Wayback
Machine. Justice Resear ch Institute
4. http://www .saps.go v.za/ser vices/?nal-
crime-stats-r elease-02september2016.pdf
5. Independent Newspapers Online (6
October 2006). "SA's woes spark another
ex odus". Iol.co.za. Ar chived fr om the
original on 21 A ugust 2010. Retrieved
15 Ma y 2011.
6. "South Africa ' a country at war' as
murder r ate soars t o nearly 49 a da y". the

Guardian.
7. "Ar chiv ed cop y". Ar chiv ed fr om the
original on 16 June 2013. Retrie ved
2 Oct ober 2015.
8. "Is SA worse off now than 19 y ears ago?
The facts behind THAT F acebook post".
Africa Check.
9. The r eliability of violent crime statistics
Archiv ed 17 Januar y 2012 at the Wayback
Machine. Studies
10. "The gr eat scour ges". The Economist.
3 June 2010. Retrie ved 5 Januar y 2011.
11. "S. Africa mur der rate rises t o 52 a
day". AFP.

12. SAPS data reproduced b y the Institute
for Security Studies Archiv ed 17 Januar y
2012 at the Wayback Machine.
13. South African Mur der rates 2003–
2010 Archiv ed 2 April 2012 at the
Wayback Machine.
14. "South Africa gang r ape a symbol of
nation's pr oblem ". thestar .com. 11
Februar y 2013. Retrie ved 18 Mar ch 2015.
15. "Total sexual off ences" (PDF). South
African Police. Archived fr om the original
(PDF) on 19 No vember 2012. Retrie ved
9 July 2013.
16. SA 'r ape capital' of the world, News24,
22 No vember 2005. Retrie ved 7 Januar y

2012.
17. "Rape- silent war on SA women". BBC
News. 9 April 2002. Retrieved 15 Ma y 2011.
18. "South African r ape surve y shock." BBC
News. 18 June 2009.
19. "Quar ter of men in South Africa admit
rape, sur ve y ?nds". The Guar dian. 17 June
2009.
20. Perr y, Alex (5 No vember 2007). "Opr ah
scandal r ocks South Africa ". TIME.
Retrieved 15 Ma y 2011.
21. ISS. "Crime in South Africa: A countr y
and cities pro?le". Institute for Security
Studies. Ar chived fr om the original on 26
Januar y 2013. Retrie ved 5 Mar ch 2013.

22. Independent Newspapers Online (24
October 2007). "Why insur ance ?rm snubs
Citi Golfs". Iol.co.za. Ar chived fr om the
original on 21 A ugust 2010. Retrieved
15 Ma y 2011.
23. "Extreme week end".
SecondBestBlog.com. 15 April 2007.
Archiv ed fr om the original on 5 Mar ch
2012. Retrieved 17 July 2008.
24. "'Mor e black farm work ers are killed
than white farm work ers'  – Johan Burger".
702.
25. Counting South Africa 's crimes, Mail
and Guar dian, Retrieved 2 Oct ober 2012.

26. Farmer killed, dr agged behind bakkie,
news24.com, Retrie ved 2 Ma y 2011.
27. "BBC World Ser vice – Pr ogrammes –
South Africa F arm Murder". Retrie ved
18 Mar ch 2015.
28. "Two mor e S.African farmers killed:
death toll now at 3,037". Digital Journal.
Retrieved 18 Mar ch 2015.
29. http://www .bbc.com/news/world-
africa-41807642
30. "Crime Statistics: April 2013 – Mar ch
2014". South African Police Service.
Archiv ed fr om the original on 6 Mar ch
2015. Retrieved 10 Mar ch 2015.

31. "The Shocking Reality".
missingchildren.org.za. Retrie ved 10 Mar ch
2015.
32. "SA, capital of white-collar crime
Archiv ed 16 Oct ober 2007 at the Wayback
Machine. date=Ma y 2016
33. Independent Newspapers Online (7
March 2004). "419 fr aud schemes net
R100m in SA ". Iol.co.za. Ar chived fr om the
original on 6 April 2008. Retrie ved 15 Ma y
2011.
34. "Rip-off ar tists exploit land r eform,"
The Namibian
35. "How t o impersonate a centr al bank via
email," Times of India

36. "Crime Prevention – 419 Scams".
Saps.go v.za. Ar chived fr om the original on
13 July 2011. Retrie ved 15 Ma y 2011.
37. Constantia Glen goes t o court.
Retrieved 5 No vember 2012.
38. Lynnwood Manor won cour t case.
Retrieved 5 No vember 2012.
39. Brunaly won cour t case. Retrieved 5
No vember 2012.
40. Gated communities ar e effectiv e.
Retrie ved 5 No vember 2012.
41. AN O VERVIEW OF ENCL OSED
NEIGHBOURHOODS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Archiv ed 4 April 2012 at the Wayback
Machine.

42. GATED COMMUNI TIES IN SOUTH
AFRICA: A review of the r elevant policies
and their implications Ar chiv ed 31
Januar y 2012 at the Wayback Machine..
Retrie ved 5 No vember 2012.
43. "P olice (per capita) (most r ecent) by
country". Retrie ved 11 April 2010.
44. Cops spend R100m on priv ate security
protection, SABC News, 10 Mar ch 2007.
Retrieved 10 Mar ch 2007.
45. "Crime in South Africa: It won 't go away
– The Economist". The Economist.
Retrie ved 18 Mar ch 2015.
46. "News24, South Africa 's pr emier news
sour ce, pr ovides br eaking news on national,

world, Africa, sport, entertainment,
technology & mor e". News24. Ar chiv ed
from the original on 6 June 2008.
Retrie ved 18 Mar ch 2015.
47. Independent Newspapers Online (5 July
2006). "DA challenge on Burundi".
Iol.co.za. Ar chived fr om the original on 21
August 2010. Retrie ved 15 Ma y 2011.
48. "Independent Pr ojects Trust: Crime
prevention pr ojects". Ipt.co.za. Retrieved
15 Ma y 2011.
49. Fight or ?ight? Archiv ed 27 A ugust
2006 at the Wayback Machine. 06.
Retrie ved 28 September 2006.
External links

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
prevention.
SAPS Crime Statistics 2010 – Crime
statistics b y year and categor y provided
by the South African P olice Service
(SAPS).
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 Stats
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?
title=Crime_in_South_Africa&oldid=832644205"
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