Fighting crime

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Crime remains a serious problem in South Africa and therefore a priority for government.

An update on progress and achievements

The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster briefed the media on 13 December 2015 on the implementation of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF 2014 – 2019) in the first phase of implementation of the National Development Plan as it relates to crime. Read the full statement.


The South African Police Service (SAPS) announced the crime statistics for 2016/17 on 24 October 2017. 

Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula  said these statistics could be utilised as early warning to strengthen crime prevention operations and strategies of various departments of government beyond just the South African Police Service.

The Minister said that in 2016/17 approximately 2,1 million serious crime counts were recorded, of which 1 738 980 were community-reported serious crimes.

The SAPS national crime statistics measure twenty-one serious crimes. 

Seventeen of these crimes are reported by the community and the other four are detected as a result of police-initiated operations. 

The seventeen community-reported serious crimes have continually decreased during the last half of the decade  from 2007/08.

However, the contact crime figures, which reflected a fairly consistent decrease during the first half of the decade, have increased over the preceding three financial years. In 2016/17 a reversal is observed and a decrease was  again recorded.

The incidence of contact crimes remains the highest in Gauteng, with 171 466 cases recorded. This is followed by the Western Cape with 114 704 cases.

Trio crimes (car-jackings, robbery at residential premises and robbery at non-residential premises) increased compared to 2015/16 with 14,5, 7,3 and 5%, respectively. Cash in transit heists also increased by more than 10%.

Property related crimes, which includes burglary, theft of motor vehicles and stock theft, are still decreasing, except for stock theft that increased by 8,8%..

Commercial crime increased by 5,3% compared to the 2015/ 16 reporting period.

Police were successful in detecting other crimes such as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, drug-realted crimes and sexual offences, where the cases went up by 9,2%, 12,9% and 5,7%, respectively.


Operation Fiela

Operation Fiela is a multidisciplinary interdepartmental operation aimed at eliminating criminality and general lawlessness from our communities. It was launched in 2015. Read more...

Criminal justice

  • The Chief Justice and heads of courts have embarked on the development of holistic case-flow management interventions and a programme of action to increase the efficiency of the courts. The number of persons awaiting trial or remand detainees dropped from 53 901 in 2003/04 to 46 188 in 2012.
  •  Cabinet in March 2017 approved a comprehensive framework for the development of an Integrated Criminal Justice Strategy (ICJS). This strategy will allow all departments and entities in the criminal justice value chain to integrate their efforts in order to strengthen the efficacy of the entire system. It will go a long way towards addressing challenges relating to the management of bail, overcrowding in correctional centres and the optimal use of alternative non-custodial sentences. 

SourceMinister Michael Masutha: Justice and Constitutional Development Dept Budget Vote 2017/18

Corruption in the Public Service

  • Minister Jeff Radebe  launched an Anti-Corruption Discussion Document in May 2017. South Africans are invited to provide input on this process.
  • An Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee was established by President Jacob Zuma in June 2014. It is mandated to oversee all government’s anti-corruption efforts and initiatives, and to track progress both at the policy and operational levels.
  • The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) was established to modernise and consolidate the state’s fragmented legislative framework for procurement and supply chain management. One of the outcomes is the curbing of corruption.
  • From April 2015 to March 2017, the President has signed 31 proclamations empowering the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to investigate serious malpractices, maladministration and corruption in connection with the administration of state institutions and to take appropriate and effective civil action.  During that period, the value of money and assets recovered totalled about R230 million while the value of the potential loss prevented came close to R1,4 billion.  Furthermore, the value of contracts and /or administrative decisions set aside or deemed invalid was close to R4,6 billion. 


Violence against women and children

Government hosts an on-going campaign to voice our anger against violence against women and children. We have to find ways of making our homes and communities safe for all, especially for women and children....... read more

Government on fighting crime and corruption

Speeches and statements on fighting crime and corruption









More information about the fight against crime