Printer Friendly

Part one: official policy and strategies.


The notion that crime is a scourge in South African society has become a truism. Although it states the obvious, it nevertheless denotes a reality that has to be contended with. Unfortunately, law enforcement and collaborative efforts to prevent and combat crime are often obscured by the alarming levels of crime and by views that government has failed the general public. Nonetheless, the combating of crime has been a government priority at both the operational level of policing and the policy and strategy levels. The official and public viewpoints that underpin these efforts, as a subset of safety and security perceptions, have changed considerably over the past decade. This has been a response to, amongst others, the political transition of 1994; the paradigm shift in safety and security with an emphasises on human security and the rendering of a service to the people and society; the re-direction of policing away from crime control to crime prevention; the growing phenomenon of transnational crime in an era of post-Cold War globalisation; the nature and scope of crime in South Africa that has to be dealt with in practice; and the constraints imposed by factors ranging from the need for force integration and equity, to limited human and financial resources in preventing and combating crime.

It is often difficult to fully comprehend the ongoing change and transformation or reform and adaptation contained in official policy and strategic perceptions. A chronological approach, detailing official documentation in sequence of their publication, provides some insight, as does the consideration and analysis of key themes. This section, however, organises the official perceptions on combating crime in South Africa according to the levels they represent, ranging from the constitutional and statutory, through national policy and strategy, to departmental plans. Although some chronological logic is evident, the hierarchical context of constitutional framework, policy directives, national strategy and departmental plans is--at least in principle--of greater significance.

Firstly, the statutory framework provided by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 and the South African Police Service Act, 1995. These acts, to the extent that they also implicate related legislation that impact on the combating of crime, provide elementary but fundamental points of departure. These include the principles that govern safety and security; the political and operational accountability for safety and security; and the goals of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

Secondly, the policy framework contained in the White Paper on Safety and Security--"In Service of Safety" 1999-2004 that appeared in 1998. In an attempt to promote the post-1994 transformation of the police, to broaden and deepen social crime prevention activities and to deliver on the Government's political mandate, the White Paper sets the policy agenda for safety and security by making several policy proposals, outlining strategic priorities and assigning roles and responsibilities to various role-players (including the Department of Safety and Security). This agenda was based on the dual and mutually reinforcing approach of law enforcement and crime prevention to reduce the occurrence of crime, supported by the institutional reform of safety and security structures at national, provincial and local levels (amongst others the ministry, the SAPS and government bodies at the various levels). The White Paper on Safety and Security continued the initial direction of earlier policy documents (for example a 1994 Green Paper), but in emphasising law enforcement and crime prevention as police priorities, also kept to and in fact incorporated the approach outlined in the earlier National Crime Prevention Strategy, 1996. In addition, similar to efforts in other policy fields such as defence, the institutional reform also promoted the notion of civilian oversight and integrated government.

Thirdly, the strategy framework provided by the National Crime Prevention Strategy, 1996 (NCPS). * The NCPS (reviewed in 1998) is a strategy document that was prepared by an Inter-departmental Strategy Team (comprising of the departments of Correctional Services, Defence, Intelligence, Justice, Safety and Security, and Welfare) to prevent crime as a national priority. The initiative developed in 1995 as a response to President Mandela's concerns about crime expressed in his address at the opening of Parliament, and also formed part of the Government's National Growth and Development Strategy. The significance of the NCPS, that sets it apart from previous short-term police plans, is that it represents a long-term strategic framework for combating crime. Apart from outlining specific objectives, it provides a mechanism for government co-ordination in waging the 'war on crime' by presenting a multi-faceted approach to crime prevention that incorporates and links both social crime prevention and criminal justice (law enforcement).

Within 'four pillars'--namely the criminal justice process; public (community) values and education; environmental design; and transnational crime--the NCPS outlines national programmes that task various lead agencies to undertake key actions in respect of national priority crimes. It also allocates specific national, provincial and local roles and responsibilities, and makes provision for collaborative efforts between different tiers of government, various government agencies and civil society. As a point of departure for the aforesaid, the NCPS gives due recognition to the multiple causes of the crime situation and the various crime categories of concern (also see the corresponding excerpt from the Annual Report of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, 2002/2003), and therefore acknowledges the principle of 'dis-aggregation' or the separate examination of each form of crime.

Fourthly, the departmental (planning) framework provided by the Strategic Plan for the South African Police Service 2002-2005 (also see the SAPS Annual Report 2002/2003), that incorporates the National Crime Combating Strategy (NCCS) of 2000 (the latter does not exist as a separate document). The SAPS Strategic Plan had its origins in the Community Safety Plan, 1995 and subsequent SAPS 'police plans' that introduced short-term policing measures to combat priority crimes. In 2000 the Department of Safety and Security undertook an extensive strategic planning exercise that reviewed strategic priorities and aligned them with government policy. This resulted in the development and implementation of a strategic focus for the SAPS, which provided the framework for the 2002-2005 strategic plan. The SAPS Strategic Plan (to be read in conjunction with relevant sections of the SAPS Annual Report 2002/2003) provides an indication of the strategic direction of the SAPS with reference to key departmental objectives and strategic focus areas (including operational and organisational priorities). Various strategies have been developed to implement these priorities, namely the NCCS, a Service Delivery Improvement Programme, an Information Technology Resources Strategy (ITRS) and a Human Resource Strategy.

From the point of view of combating crime, the NCCS is obviously the most important component with its dual approach to crime priorities, namely the Geographic Approach to address crime within an identified geographic area in an integrated manner; and the Organised Crime Approach to identify crime syndicates which have the biggest impact on crime. These approaches are augmented by comprehensive strategies to deal with specific priorities by instituting preventive measures in key focus areas. The dual approach to crime priorities is supported by an approach to operational organisational priorities, namely one of focused support to the operational strategy of the SAPS in the form of an integrated support strategy. Therefore, the NCCS is essentially a multi-disciplinary and co-ordinated strategy that, on the one hand, informs and directs operations at police stations; and on the other hand, focuses police resources on identified high-crime areas and on stations identified for special attention by the President.

In the fifth place, the operational framework contained in the Budget Vote on Safety and Security (for 2003/2004) and the Annual Report of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, 2002/ 2003. These documents (in their entirety) provide detailed information on the operational dimensions relating to and activities through which policy and strategy, especially the NCCS, are implemented. Since it is not the main focus of this publication, the selected excerpts on the context of crime, key policy developments and policy programmes supplement the constitutional, policy and strategy frameworks.

Finally, the co-ordination framework, with reference to the Justice Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) (see the selected excerpts from the SAPS Strategic Plan, the SAPS Annual Report 2002/2003 and the Budget Vote on Safety and Security). Based on the principle of integrated government, clusters of departments with related interests co-operate on core issues at cabinet and director-general level. An important component of this cluster system is the Cabinet Cluster for Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS). Chaired by the Department of Safety and Security, it comprises among other departments, Defence (South African National Defence Force--SANDF), Correctional Services, Justice, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the South African Secret Service (SASS), the South African Revenue Service (SARS), Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs. The JCPS Cluster is responsible for co-ordinating inter-departmental crime prevention initiatives and to prioritise strategic interventions. The Integrated Justice System (IJS) is closely linked to the JCPS cluster and focuses more specifically on the transformation of departments to modernise criminal justice processing in South Africa.

The hierarchical ordering of the aforesaid, although theoretically sound and acceptable in principle, is problematic and has to be clarified and qualified. * Firstly, the level and scope of the policy framework are not adequately clear. For example, the SAPS Strategic Plan (see the selected excerpt) refers to the existence of a 'National Security Policy' co-ordinated by the JCPS Cluster that according to the official South African Yearbook (at was developed for the SAPS to fulfil its mandate. This notion is problematic on two counts.

On the one hand, such a 'national policy' on 'security' does not exist in the form of a specific policy document under this title. It must, however, be said that some policy components thereof are to be found, inter alia, in "Defence in a Democracy" White Paper on National Defence for the Republic of South Africa, 1996, the South African Defence Review, 1998, the White Paper on Safety and Security--"In Service of Safety" 1999-2004 and the National External Security Strategy (developed as a concept document by the Department of Foreign Affairs in the mid-1990s). Apparently the JCPS has been tasked to develop a 'National Security Policy' and a 'National Security Strategy', but this process still has to be developed. A structure in the form of the National Security Council (NSC), an executive oversight institution at the level of cabinet committees, has nevertheless been created to supervise the implementation of such a policy. On the other hand, although the SAPS Strategic Plan refers to this 'national security policy' in the narrower context of and therefore links it to the Department of Safety and Security and more specifically to the SAPS, this purported 'national security policy' in fact alludes to an inter-departmental 'cluster policy on safety and security' at the national level. Such a 'cluster policy' can at most be construed to be the NCPS, bearing in mind (as will subsequently be pointed out) that it is a strategy document and not a policy document in the strict sense of the word.

The present 'cluster policy' is an 'inter-departmental policy' and therefore neither a 'national policy' nor a 'departmental policy' in the true sense of the word. To be a 'national security policy' a more comprehensive, coherent and integrated articulation at a higher level than the inter-departmental level is required that focuses on security and not only on crime prevention. In this respect the NCPS in particular is not the equivalent of a comprehensive national security policy (or strategy), although it forms a building block in the formation thereof. The departmental association is also erroneous since the aforesaid 'cluster policy' is not 'departmental policy' as such and only involves the SAPS amongst several others. A Department of Safety and Security policy or for that matter a SAPS 'crime combating policy' (elements of which already exist in both the NCCS and the SAPS Strategic Plan) would have to be formulated at a lower level than national security policy (or strategy) and an inter-departmental cluster policy on safety and security, that is at a departmental level. The national-cluster-departmental distinction is similarly tenuous in respect of the equally problematic NCCS. Although primarily focussed on police activities, it also contains multi-disciplinary and inter-departmental actions. To be correct, it is an inter-departmental (JCPS) strategy rather than a departmental (Safety and Security) or sub-departmental (SAPS) strategy. It nevertheless presents an anomaly since it is incorporated into the SAPS Strategic Plan which is strictly speaking a sub-departmental strategy (considering that the Department of Safety and Security comprises of the SAPS, the Secretariat of Safety and Security and the Independent Complaints Directorate).

Secondly, and closely related to the first observation, there appears to be some confusion between the policy and the strategy dimensions. Although this problem (that also manifests in other policy areas) is analytical in nature, it cannot be discounted as academic. As its title and summary suggests, the NCPS is primarily a strategy document (although it also contains policy components). Similarly, the SAPS Strategic Plan and the National Crime Combating Strategy (NCCS) are also designated as strategy documents. This is not problematic and it should only be noted that whereas the NCPS refers to strategy at the national level (or more correctly inter-departmental strategy), the SAPS Strategic Plan and the NCCS involve departmental strategy (although, as will be pointed out, the latter is not a departmental strategy as such). In addition, these departmental documents also contain elements that can be said to be operational strategy (the details of which have mostly been deleted from the excerpts that appear in this publication).

Notwithstanding the existence of the NCPS, the urgent need for a cogent 'Integrated National Security Strategy' from its several elements that currently reside with the JCPS Cluster departments, has been identified by the Minister of Safety and Security (see the JCPS Cluster Post-Cabinet Lekgotla Media Briefing in Part 2). This also justifies the point made in respect of the first observation, namely that the NCPS is not an integrated national security policy. Neither is it a 'national security strategy'. Similar to the purported 'national security policy', no such a 'national security strategy' exists, although the NCPS perhaps comes closest to it. This position has to be qualified. On the one hand, the NCPS contains a mixture of both policy and strategy. On the other hand, the NCPS is not a comprehensive 'national crime strategy' but, according to its title, a 'national crime prevention strategy'. It could also be seen to be a broader (pro-active and reactive) 'containment strategy', although this is debatable.

The more significant problem is that the NCPS is sometimes referred to as a policy document, a viewpoint that erodes the distinction between the policy and the strategy dimensions. For example, the NCPS itself states under its aims that its first objective is the "establishment of a comprehensive policy framework which will enable government to address crime in a coordinated and focused manner". The confusion is reinforced by the intermingling of policy and strategy, for example the 2003/2004 Budget Vote covers policy developments with reference to strategy documents; and by the interchangeable or synonymous use of the terms when, for example, reference is made to the NCCS, the SAPS Strategic Plan and the NCCS (see Part 2 on official viewpoints). Even the aforesaid reference to the need for a cogent 'Integrated National Security Strategy', which is listed as a policy challenge, adds to this confusion and it can be argued that an 'Integrated National Security Policy' would have been the more appropriate term to use in this context.

Thirdly, a bifurcation exists to the extent that a distinction can be made between long-term and short-term approaches and measures. On the one hand, as has been pointed out, the NCPS is essentially a long-term strategic approach although it also contains certain short-term elements. It represents a shift in the Government's crime prevention policy since it goes beyond a mere police response to crime by emphasising and linking social crime prevention with the criminal justice system, thereby adding a 'soft' developmental approach to the overall strategy. On the other hand, within the rhetoric of the 'war on crime', the SAPS Strategic Plan and the NCCS (as well as previous 'police plans') adopted a predominantly short-term and 'hard' approach aimed at combating crime. Although this dichotomy reflects the national strategy/departmental strategy divide, it goes beyond that to the extent that it is also indicative of a policy shift from combating crime (in the narrower operational sense) to crime prevention (in a multi-dimensional context). The most recent SAPS Strategic Plan does, however, bridge this short-term/long-term and national/departmental divide by drawing on and contextualising it within the NCPS.

Fourthly, terminology also creates some confusion, more specifically the use of and distinction between the combating of crime and crime prevention. As indicated, the 'combating of crime' is often used in the narrower, short-term, departmental and operational context (as in the NCCS), whereas 'crime prevention' denotes a broader, long-term, national and strategic approach within a societal context (as in the NCPS). 'Combating crime' can, however, also be used in a more generic sense (as in this publication) to denote the totality of efforts at different levels to reduce, contain and manage crime in South African society, inclusive of crime prevention in the broader and the combating of crime in the narrower sense. Hence cognisance should be taken of the context within which the relevant concepts are used.

Fifthly and emanating from the previous observation, roles and responsibilities change over time. For example, the NCPS incorporates two initiatives namely crime prevention responsibilities that fall in the domain of the JCPS; and social crime prevention responsibilities that reside with the Social Sector (SS) Cluster. The SS has not gained the same operational momentum as the JCPS. Following the disbanding of the NCPS Centre in the Secretariat of Safety and Security (which had replaced the earlier NCPS Ministerial and Director-General (DG) Committees--see the White Paper on Safety and Security) a unit known as Social Crime Prevention was established within the SAPS (Division: Crime Prevention). This responsibility has thus been reduced to an action within the SAPS, thereby eroding the strategy even further. In contrast, the JCPS has developed the NCCS as an operational element of the NCPS to the extent that it exists independently of the latter. The NCCS is, however, an inter-departmental (JCPS) strategy. Similar to the IJS it is managed by the JCPS, also considering that progress reports are submitted to the JCPS ministerial and DG committees and that these committees do the inter-departmental tasking. The SAPS nevertheless remains the primary role-player in the implementation of the NCCS.

In the sixth place, the status of these policies and strategies also change over time. For example, the NCPS has lost momentum to become dormant as a strategy. As has been pointed out, its main initiatives have settled in the JCPS and the SAPS and in practice there is no overarching or direct management of the NCPS by the JCPS or by ministerial or DG committees. The NCPS has nevertheless served the useful purpose of indicating and delineating roles, responsibilities and causes of crime, as well as promoting the development, amongst others, of Business Against Crime (BAC), the IJS and the Victim Empowerment Programme. In addition, some aspects of the NCPS still receive attention, perhaps more as a response to the crime situation in the country than as a result of the strategy as such.

Finally, and following from these observations, the official documentation overlaps to a significant extent and at times also becomes repetitive. This not merely takes the form of cross-referencing or contextualisation, a practice that is acceptable up to a point, but it is also evident in respect of core content. The same principles, aims, objectives, priorities, programmes and key activities are at times referred to at the different levels, with some variation in formulation and sequence or with certain additions, or with the alternate use of the adjectives policy or strategy. Apart from being symptomatic of the policy/strategy and national/departmental confusion, this phenomenon also affects the underlying logic and the coherency of the said documents. However, if read with reservation in the context of the statutory, policy, strategy, operational and co-ordination frameworks as indicated, a comprehensive explanation and understanding can be gained of government policy and strategy to combat crime in South Africa. The selected excerpts from the following documents are therefore presented in the context of the various levels of analyses as indicated, bearing in mind the problematic nature and ambiguities thereof with reference to the policy-strategy, national-departmental, long-term and short-term, and the combating-prevention dichotomies.

Bearing these observations and qualifications in mind it is possible to construct a type of 'crime combating hierarchy' (see the Figure). Admittedly, this primarily serves an academic purpose and should not be construed as providing an exact account of the situation in practice. Since the various policy and strategic initiatives to combat crime in South Africa are not comprehensively integrated, the hierarchy serves a descriptive and analytical purpose by contextualising the nature, scope and levels of the various documents.



Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996)--as adopted on 8 May 1996 and amended on 11 October 1996 by the Constitutional Assembly *

Chapter 11

Security Services

Governing principles

198. The following principles govern national security in the Republic:

a. National security must reflect the resolve of South Africans, as individuals and as a nation, to live as equals, to live in peace and harmony, to be free from fear and want and to seek a better life.

b. The resolve to live in peace and harmony precludes any South African citizen from participating in armed conflict, nationally or internationally, except as provided for in terms of the Constitution or national legislation.

c. National security must be pursued in compliance with the law, including international law.

d. National security is subject to the authority of Parliament and the national executive.

Establishment, structuring and conduct of security services

199. (1) The security services of the Republic consist of a single defence force, a single police service and any intelligence services established in terms of the Constitution.


Police service

205. (1) The national police service must be structured to function in the national, provincial and, where appropriate, local spheres of government.

(3) The objects of the police service are to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law.

Political responsibility

206. (1) A member of the Cabinet must be responsible for policing and must determine national policing policy after consulting the provincial governments and taking into account the policing needs and priorities of the provinces as determined by the provincial executives.

(3) Each province is entitled--

a. to monitor police conduct;

b. to oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service, including receiving reports on the police service;

c. to promote good relations between the police and the community;

d. to assess the effectiveness of visible policing; and

e. to liaise with the Cabinet member responsible for policing with respect to crime and policing in the province

(7) National legislation must provide a framework for the establishment, powers, functions and control of municipal police services.

(8) A committee composed of the Cabinet member and the members of the Executive Councils responsible for policing must be established to ensure effective co-ordination of the police service and effective co-operation among the spheres of government.

Control of police service

207. (1) The President as head of the national executive must appoint a woman or a man as the National Commissioner of the police service, to control and manage the police service.

Police civilian secretariat

208. A civilian secretariat for the police service must be established by national legislation to function under the direction of the Cabinet member responsible for policing.

South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No. 68 of 1995)--Assented to 28 September 1995 *


WHEREAS section 214 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1993 (Act No. 200 of 1993), requires legislation to provide for the establishment and regulation of a South African Police Service which shall be structured at both national and provincial levels and shall function under the direction of the national government as well as the various provincial governments;

AND WHEREAS there is a need to provide a police service throughout the national territory to--

(a) ensure the safety and security of all persons and property in the national territory;

(b) uphold and safeguard the fundamental rights of every person as guaranteed by Chapter 3 of the Constitution;

(c) ensure co-operation between the Service and the communities it serves in the combating of crime;

(d) reflect respect for victims of crime and an understanding of their needs; and

(e) ensure effective civilian supervision over the Service;

Department of Safety and Security, White Paper on Safety and Security--"In Service of Safety" 1999-2004--September 1998 **


At the heart of the White Paper lies the challenge of enhancing the transformation of the police so that they are able to function effectively within the new democracy; and enhancing social crime prevention activities to reduce the occurrence of crime....

In the immediate post-1994 period, the government's policy agenda on safety and security was shaped by two objectives: firstly, to rehabilitate the police to ensure they became protectors of our communities; and secondly, to mobilise our people to participate in the provision of safety and security.

This initial policy direction was laid out in the 1994 Green Paper, which emphasised three key policy areas--democratic control, police accountability and community participation in issues of safety and security. The Police Service Act of 1995 concretised these new policy objectives by, amongst other things, establishing a Secretariat for Safety and Security.

Then in 1996, Government adopted the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS). The NCPS provided a framework for a multi-dimensional approach to crime prevention. Amongst other things, the NCPS provided a means by which government departments could integrate their approaches to problems of crime control and crime prevention....

In keeping with the approach outlined in the National Crime Prevention Strategy, the White Paper advocates a dual approach to safety and security --effective and efficient law enforcement and the provision of crime prevention programs to reduce the occurrence of crime.

The White Paper also advocates institutional reform which will create a clear separation between the political responsibility for policy formulation on the one hand, and the managerial responsibility for the implementation of policy on the other....

(I)mplicit in the institutional reform outlined in the White Paper is the development of our human resources in terms of their ability to meet the complex challenges of constantly changing crime. This institutional reform will also ensure that the Police Service becomes representative of the communities it serves....

While the public rightfully demand improvement in the quality of service delivered by the police, members of the public also have a responsibility to assist the police to deliver a better service. Here, co-operation with the police is essential as is restoring the morality that prevents participating in or encouraging unlawful activities....




The vision of the Department of Safety and Security is that the people of South Africa will enjoy greatly improved levels of safety.


Real reductions in crime will be attained through, firstly, more effective and efficient policing as part of an effective justice system and, secondly, through a greater ability to prevent crime....

The objectives of the White Paper are to outline:

--Strategic priorities to deal with crime.

--Roles and responsibilities of various role-players in the safety and security sphere.

--The role of the Department of Safety and Security within the Constitutional framework.


Fundamental to the development of appropriate policing services in South Africa has been a shift from an inheritance of authoritarian law and order responses, to e broader concept of safety and security for all citizens. This was the vision spelt out both in the Green Paper and in the National Crime Prevention Strategy released in May 1996. The strategy motivated for a new paradigm for safety and security: a change in emphasis from an exclusive focus on crime control to include crime prevention.

Given its scope and multi-agency approach, the NCPS is the most important current initiative aimed at achieving sustainable safety in South Africa. The Department of Safety and Security has been entrusted with ensuring the implementation of the NCPS. This, therefore, ensures that the vision of the NCPS continues to frame the guiding principles of departmental policy.

In line with these principles, the White Paper views the concept of safety and security in terms of two broad and inter-locking components: that of policing or law enforcement, and that of crime prevention, and particularly social crime prevention, which is aimed at undercutting the causes of crime. This twin approach to fighting crime is critical: law enforcement and crime prevention are not mutually exclusive but reinforce each other....


Focus areas

--Improved criminal investigations

--Active visible policing

--Service to victims

The previous section (Section I: Confronting Crime in a Democratic South Africa) motivated the need for law enforcement to meet the safety and security requirements of a democratic South Africa. If policing is to improve safety and security, it will do so through arresting and bringing suspects to court with good evidence. If effective, this will act as a deterrent to potential offenders and counter the perception of impunity and lack of respect for the law which exists in South Africa.

To achieve this, the following is required:

--Improving the investigative capacity of the SAPS.

--Implementing targeted visible policing.

--Meeting the needs of victims through adequate service delivery.


Goal: to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal investigations.

Specific interventions to improve investigations

Increase numbers: ...

Training: ...

Detective management: ...

Crime intelligence: ...

Specialised investigation units: ...

Sharing the burden: ...


Goal: To target visible policing to address specific crimes and the fear of crime....

Implementing effective visible policing

Visible policing can be conducted in various ways to achieve specific objectives:

Preventive patrol: ...

Directed patrol: ...

Sector policing: ...

High density policing: ...


Goal: Improving the quality of service delivery to victims of crime....

The Department subscribes to internationally accepted victim's rights, which include the following:

--The right to be treated with respect and dignity;

--The right to offer information;

--The right to receive information;

--The right to legal advice; and

--The right to protection.


Focus areas

--Initiating, co-ordinating and evaluating social crime prevention at national, provincial and local level.

--Co-ordination for improving the integrated justice system.

As indicated in the previous section, effective law enforcement by the police and the criminal justice system play a vital role in preventing and deterring crime. However, law enforcement alone cannot reduce the social and economic factors which contribute to crime. These require a different set of preventative interventions.

Crime prevention and, particularly, social crime prevention, not only targets the causes of crime, but in the longer term, does so in the most cost-effective way. It addresses those factors that contribute to the occurrence of crime, and requires a focus on three broad and overlapping target groups or areas:

--Offender based strategies focus on those known to be criminals, or thought to be at risk of offending, and aim to ensure positive behavioural change.

--Victim based strategies focus on support for those who have become victims of crime by providing information aimed at minimising the likelihood of victimisation.

--Environment based strategies aim at altering the social, economic and other related factors which contribute to the occurrence of crime.

Crime prevention strategies therefore focus on those groups most at risk of either offending or becoming victims of crime, for example, poor communities, the youth, women and children and the disabled....

Effective crime prevention strategies would therefore need to involve partnerships between government bodies and structures of civil society to address certain factors contributing to crime Internationally, it has been demonstrated that the criteria for successful crime prevention through targeted partnerships include:

--Political commitment to build safer communities through partnerships.

--Involvement of social services such as housing, health, recreation and sport, urban planning and local government, and the justice system.

--Adequate community crime prevention planning.

--Professional co-ordination.

--National support for local action.


The target groups outlined above can be reached through social crime prevention strategies which fall into one or more of the following broad categories:

--Developmental crime prevention: Such interventions address factors contributing to delinquency and violent offending, which may relate to socio-economic deprivation, marginalisation, fragmented communities and disrupted families be they in urban or rural areas....

--Situational crime prevention: These strategies diminish opportunities for crime by modifying the situations in which offending occurs. This encompasses crime prevention through environmental design, focusing on making the built environment less conducive to crime....

--Community crime prevention: These interventions involve communities taking responsibility for crime prevention in their own neighbourhoods. Such interventions involve localised programs which mobilise a range of interest groups to address crime prevention on a town or city basis.

--Continuous improvements to the integrated justice system: An effective justice system acts as a deterrent and improves support to victims and the management of offenders. It is therefore critical that the justice system operates as a single enterprise through which information and activities crucial to victim support, offender management and crime prevention are shared to enhance the effectiveness of the justice system.

Implementing crime prevention in these ways requires targeting specific crime problems through multifaceted strategies that aim to combat and prevent a single offence or category of offences. Social crime prevention therefore requires a multi-departmental or multi-sectoral approach. Also, such interventions should be located at all levels of government and should include relevant organisations of civil society.

The key to implementing crime prevention lies at the provincial and local level (see below). However, national leadership, co-ordination and funds are required to provide incentives and guidelines for ensuring effective provincial and local implementation.... What is now required is to institutionalise the management and planning at national level to ensure effective implementation at all tiers of government and effective learning and information exchange....


Goal: To establish a Centre responsible for both social crime prevention and facilitating improvements to the criminal justice system.

The functions of the Centre will be twofold:

--Social crime prevention, including developing systems to reduce the opportunities and economic rationale for certain crimes such as motor vehicle theft and corruption.

--Achieving an integrated justice system.

This Centre will therefore continue the mandated work of the Department of Safety and Security in the NCPS.

Functions of the National Crime Prevention Strategy Centre

Achieving effective social crime prevention and an integrated justice system requires:

--Establishing a national vision and the identification of priorities. This will involve a strong research, monitoring and information component.

--Mobilising other government departments such as Justice, Correctional Services, Welfare, Education, Public Service and Administration and Transport who have a role to play in crime prevention initiatives.

--Assisting provincial and local government in preventing crime by providing research, technical guidance, training and the sharing of best practice.--Working in partnership with the provinces, local government and civil society to develop crime prevention programmes.

--Providing seed funding for targeted social crime prevention pregrammes.

--Continuous improvements to the criminal justice system to effectively assist in, among other areas, case, offender, victim and workload management.

--Assist in co-ordinating and managing the prevention of certain priority crimes as identified in the annual planning process....


Key to successful crime prevention, it has been argued, are not only national leadership and co-operation between national departments on the issue, but also ensuring that crime prevention becomes an entrenched principle at other spheres of government.

Provincial government, in particular, has a key role to play in this process by initiating and co-ordinating social crime prevention initiatives within provinces. This role involves co-ordination of a range of provincial functions and role-players--; health, education, welfare, transport and local government--; to achieve more effective crime prevention. Programmes at provincial level should focus on assisting local government and on those communities often most at risk (but least likely to receive crime prevention support), such as the poor in rural and peri-urban areas. Specific policy related to this will be urgently developed....

Local government, the level of government which is closest to the citizenry, is uniquely placed to actively participate in social crime prevention initiatives and to redirect the provision of services to facilitate crime prevention. Many issues of day-to-day governance and crime prevention are inherent to the functions of local government....

In addition to the above, civil society groups, such as religious institutions, non-government, business and community based organisations and trade unions, have a key role to play in resourcing, supporting and conducting local social crime prevention programmes. In particular, these organisations have the responsibility to ensure that preventing crime within their organisations becomes a priority....


Focus area

--Reforming the structures of safety and security at national level to meet the goals of the White Paper.

Principles of institutional reform

The following key principles inform institutional reform:

--Appropriate demarcation between political decision making and operational command. This principle is motivated by the constitutional and legislative mandate of the Minister to provide positive policy direction in the form of national policing policy and to account to Parliament for its implementation. Applying this principle means a separation of the political policy imperatives of government and operational management and is intended to ensure that policy of relevance to safety and security does not become the exclusive preserve of the SAPS, as it was in the past. Also, application of this principle is intended to ensure that policy advice is geared towards meeting the needs of the public rather than focusing solely on the needs of the SAPS.

--Structuring the Department of Safety and Security to provide clear lines of responsibility and accountability and the alignment of policy, planning and budgeting.

--Ensuring relationships based on performance agreements to guarantee quality service delivery from implementing agencies.

--Maintaining one clear line of command, control and communication within police operational structures to facilitate clear managerial responsibility for implementation at the national, provincial and local level of the SAPS. This is motivated by the constitutional and legislative mandate of the National Commissioner of the SAPS to exercise executive management and control of the SAPS.

--Enhancing the focus on both the core business of the police as well as the key role of the Department of Safety and Security in delivering crime prevention.

--Providing incentives for improved service and disincentives for inadequate service through both clearer delineation of roles and responsibilities, and better capacity to monitor service delivery....


Institutional reform of the Department of Safety and Security at the national level is to be informed by the following outline of broad roles and responsibilities.

Minister of Safety and Security

--To account to the President, Cabinet and Parliament for the management and delivery of safety and security services.

--To provide, with the support of the Secretary of Safety and Security, the national policing policy which directs the SAPS and to be accountable for the implementation of this policy.

--To provide, with the support of the Secretary of Safety and Security, direction for implementing the NCPS and facilitating targeted social crime prevention.

--To appropriate from Parliament, with the support of the Secretary of Safety and Security, the single budget vote for the Department and to direct the use of the budget which would consist of separate expenditure allocations for crime prevention and for policing.

Secretary of Safety and Security

The Secretary of Safety and Security will be a public servant directed by the Minister to function as Head of Department and Accounting Officer for the Department of Safety and Security. On behalf of the Minister, the Secretary will take responsibility for the following functions which constitute the activities of the Department:

--Policy, strategy and budgeting: Strategic and indicative planning, research and the formulation of departmental policy proposals, which, when approved by the Minister, would guide the activities of the SAPS and National Crime Prevention Strategy Centre. The internal negotiation, preparation and allocation of the budget for the Department of Safety and Security, which includes separate budgets for crime prevention and for policing.

--Audit: Monitoring expenditure of the Department's budget to ensure alignment with the policies approved by the Minister. Monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of the implementation of these policies.

--Contracts: The negotiation, development, implementation and performance control of the performance agreements which direct the functions of the SAPS and the National Crime Prevention Strategy Centre.

--Government support: To provide ministerial support services, particularly with regard to management of the administrative requirements of the Minister's responsibilities towards the Executive Co-ordinating Committee (ECC), cabinet and other state structures. Also the management and control of departmental, international, media and stakeholder liaison as well as legal services.

--Communication: To provide a communications capacity to enhance internal communication within the Department and the implementation of a communication strategy aimed at informing and mobilising role-players, stakeholders and partners outside of the Department regarding the delivery of safety and security services, and in particular, the implementation of the White Paper.

--Departmental issues: To account to the Minister and to Parliament on Departmental issues and activities from time to time or as requested.

South African Police Service

The objectives of the South African Police Service are to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property, and uphold and enforce the law. The SAPS is headed by a National Commissioner appointed by the President to fulfil the terms of a performance agreement outlining specific performance indicators as approved by the Minister of Safety and Security, for a specified period. This entails the following:

--Assuming responsibility for the executive command and control of the SAPS in the performance of the objectives of the police as set out in the Constitution. The National Commissioner therefore functions as accounting officer for the management and expenditure of the budget allocated to the SAPS.

--Providing an effective and efficient policing service in terms of the specific performance indicators outlined in the performance agreement which directs the National Commissioner to manage and control the SAPS to meet specific goals.

--Formulating an operational budget for its line and support functions in terms of the national policing policy articulated by the Minister and the terms of the National Commissioner's performance agreement.

--Maintaining executive management control and accountability for this budget and the associated performance agreements.

--Ensuring effective and efficient management and control of police resources, including human resources, to meet the specific goals articulated by the Minister in the performance agreement.

--Focusing, during the next five years, the resources and activities of the SAPS on the three major policing priorities outlined in the White Paper, namely the enhancement of:

--criminal investigation;

--crime prevention through targeted visible policing; and

--service delivery through support to victims of crime.

--To account to the Minister and to Parliament on policing issues and activities from time to time or as requested.

National Crime Prevention Strategy Centre

The National Crime Prevention Strategy Centre will be responsible for continuing the work of the Department of Safety and Security in relation to the NCPS, including co-ordinating and facilitating the Director's-General and Ministers' joint decision-making structures.

The detailed function of the Centre as well as related crime prevention issues will be spelled out in future legislation.

Its head will be appointed on the basis of a performance agreement by the Department of Safety and Security and will be responsible for:

--Researching and developing an accessible resource base regarding appropriate best practice related to the delivery of crime prevention.

--Developing social crime prevention policies and initiatives to facilitate the delivery of crime prevention.

--Facilitating delivery of social crime prevention interventions through negotiation with provincial and local government, the private sector and organisations of civil society.

--Facilitating delivery of targeted social crime prevention interventions by providing seed funding for which provincial and local government, non-government and community based organisations can bid for on a project-by-project basis.

--Developing interventions, through systems analyses, aimed at dealing with the economic rationale for certain crimes.

--Monitoring the effectiveness of social crime prevention interventions at provincial and local level.

--Facilitating and monitoring continual improvements in the justice system.

Given that crime prevention functions require co-ordination between a range of government line functions, a coherent and formalised relationship should be developed between the NCPSC and a number of government departments during the consultation phase. This is in any event an outcome envisaged by the NCPS.

Independent Complaints Directorate

The ICD functions independently of the Department of Safety and Security and reports directly to the Minister of Safety and Security. The capacity and public profile of the ICD must be enhanced to ensure it is able to carry out its mandate effectively. The ICD performs the following functions:

--Investigating police misconduct or any offence allegedly committed by a member of the SAPS.

--Investigating any death in police custody or as a result of police action.

--Investigating any matter referred to it by the Minister or MEC for Safety and Security.

The Executive Director of the ICD is the accounting officer for the budget of the ICD which is received directly from Parliament.

For purposes of improving policy development and monitoring in the Department, it is necessary to strengthen the co-operative relationship between the ICD and the Secretariat for Safety and Security


Focus area

--Reforming the structures of safety and security at provincial and local level to meet the goals of the White Paper.

Provincial and local government have a critical role to play in ensuring safer communities. In particular, provincial government has a key role to play in the monitoring of the police as well as the co-ordination of a range of agencies to ensure social crime prevention.

Local government has an important role to play in planning crime prevention initiatives and co-ordinating a range of local agents in ensuring implementation. This requires greater co-operation between elected local government and the police service in the determination of local objectives and priorities.


Institutional reform at the provincial level should be informed by the principles outlined in Section IV....

The mandated role of provincial government, as outlined in the Constitution (Section 206.3) is:

--To monitor police conduct.

--To oversee the effectiveness and efficiency of the police service, including receiving reports on the police service.

--To promote good relations between the police and the community.

--To assess the effectiveness of visible policing.

--To liaise with the Cabinet member responsible for policing with respect to crime and policing in the province.

Provincial crime prevention

To ensure effective crime prevention at provincial level, provinces should take responsibility for:

--Initiating and co-ordinating social crime prevention programmes.

--Mobilising resources for social crime prevention programmes.

--Co-ordinating a range of provincial functions--health, education, welfare, and local government--to achieve more effective crime prevention.

--Evaluating and supporting the social crime prevention programmes at local government level.

--Implementing and taking joint responsibility for social crime prevention programmes in areas where local government is poorly resourced or lacks capacity. This should be done in consultation with local government.

--The establishment of public and private partnerships to support crime prevention.


The decentralisation of policing functions to the lowest possible level within the SAPS has become a core policy tenet, which informs national policing policy. This focus on the empowerment of local policing aims to ensure that the diverse needs of communities are met by innovative responses from SAPS station commissioners....

Public fear of crime has led many local governments to begin to consider ways in which the visible policing resources of the SAPS can be supplemented. In many cases municipalities have empowered their traffic and security departments to fight crime by providing visible patrols. Several local governments are also now considering the establishment of local government police services or municipal policing....

Where established, municipal police services will be responsible for the following in their areas of jurisdiction:

--Acting as the primary bodies policing road traffic and related laws.

--Policing municipal by-laws.

--Performing visible policing and related crime prevention functions.


The rationale informing the decentralisation of SAPS policing services applies also to the delivery of social crime prevention. These initiatives can only work if they are focused on meeting the specific needs of particular communities.

The local government crime prevention spectrum

--The internal prevention of crime within the structures of, and on the property of, the municipality.

--Working with local police in setting joint priorities and identifying possible areas for local government intervention.

--Aligning internal resources and objectives within a crime prevention framework.

--Ensuring development projects take account of crime prevention principles.

--The co-ordination of crime prevention initiatives operating within the municipal area to avoid duplication.

--The effective enforcement of by-laws to ensure safer and cleaner environments less conducive to crime.

--Effective traffic law enforcement to ensure well-managed and regulated environments less conducive to criminal activity.

--Assisting victims of crime through the provision of information around what services are available or where capacity exists providing limited victim support services.

--Initiating targeted crime prevention programmes aimed at specific problems and groups at risk.

... (I)t is envisaged that the shape and structure that crime prevention programmes or initiatives take at local level across the country may vary from place to place.

Notwithstanding this, national and provincial government have a key role to play. Among others, this will include:

--Designing and initiating a capacity building programme to enable municipalities to better incorporate crime prevention issues into the execution of their normal functions.

--Where specific crime prevention programmes are established the provision of expert guidance, monitoring, training, the provision of material relating to best-practice and advice related to the obtaining of donor, business and government funding.

--The inclusion of local government inputs into the developing policy process around crime prevention at local level through the establishment of local government crime prevention forums at provincial level. Here, experiences of best-practice can be exchanged and national and provincial policy processes impacted upon.


As mentioned earlier, community policing forms the bedrock of effective law enforcement and crime prevention....

In fulfilling the crime prevention functions as outlined above, local government should work in conjunction with Community Police Forums (CPFs). Indeed, local government and CPFs are uniquely placed to complement each other....

CPFs should co-operate with local government by:

--Jointly setting crime prevention priorities and agreeing upon strategies to ensure their implementation.

--Assisting with the development of targeted social crime prevention programmes.

--Identifying flashpoints, crime patterns and community anti-crime priorities and communicating these to local government and the SAPS and participating in problem solving.

--Mobilising and organising community based campaigns and activities and the resources required to sustain them.

--Facilitating regular attendance by local elected representatives at CPFs.


Focus area

--The framework and principles for costing implementation.

The primary issue addressed in the White Paper is the reduction of crime in South Africa. In addressing this critical issue, the Draft White Paper recommends policy interventions in three key areas, namely:

--The enhancement of law enforcement.

--The provision of crime prevention.

--Institutional reform to meet the delivery goals of the White Paper.


The White Paper prioritises enhancing the law enforcement capabilities of the Department, through improving the investigative function, targeted visible policing and victim support. The White Paper therefore advocates the optimisation of current resources and, particularly, the acceleration of training and personnel development in these areas. Given the need to enhance these functions, it is critical that the basic resource needs are also met.

--Crime investigation: Interventions here require improvements in management systems, physical resources Such as nation-wide information systems, and basic, specialised and management training.

--Visible policing: Interventions here require improvements in crime trend analysis at local level, training and physical resources.

--Victim empowerment: In relation to issues of victim empowerment, much can be achieved through a changed approach and an emphasis on service delivery at station level. It must be emphasised that this focus on victim empowerment should integrate with the Victim Empowerment Programme already running under the auspices of the NCPS....


The strategy for implementing of the crime prevention interventions in the White Paper must entail a data-driven learning process aimed at improving analysis of the causes of crime.

This would enable, firstly, an informed analysis of the external environment and specific types of crime; existing law enforcement and preventive responses to these specific crime types; and, secondly, the development of sound policies and strategies to reduce the occurrence of these crimes....

This strategic approach therefore has two components:

--An intense process of data-collection and analysis to determine where crime prevention interventions are most likely to be successful and where the greatest problem areas are.

--Initiating a process of pilot projects throughout South Africa will ensure an incremental process of learning by doing, the results of which would impact on strategic policy formulation in the area of crime prevention.


The institutional reform outlined in the White Paper enhances civilian oversight of the Department and integrates its activities. This is intended to ensure that the Department becomes geared to deliver on its political mandate and, therefore, that the South African public begins to receive an efficient value-for-money return on its investment in safety and security....

Department of Safety and Security, National Crime Prevention Strategy--22 May 1996 *


This is a short version of the strategy document prepared by an Inter-departmental Strategy Team comprising of the Departments of Correctional Services, Defence, Intelligence, Justice, Safety and Security and Welfare. The full document is available on request from the Department for Safety and Security.


High levels of crime pose a serious threat to our emergent democracy.... Crime casts fear into the hearts of South Africans from all walks of life and prevents them from taking their rightful place in the development and growth of our country....

The rights and freedoms which the constitution entrenches are threatened every time a citizen becomes a victim of crime.

For these reasons, the Government regards the prevention of crime as a national priority....

We accept that some of the causes of crime are deeprooted and related to the history and socioeconomic realities of our society. For this reason, a comprehensive strategy must go beyond providing only effective policing. It must also provide for mobilisation and participation of civil society in assisting to address crime.

To effectively reduce crime, it is necessary to transform and reorganise government and facilitate real community participation....

Most fundamentally this strategy requires that government moves beyond a mode of crisis management and reaction. Government must ensure that effective planning and sustainable success in reducing crime will reach well into the next century.


The National Crime Prevention Strategy was initiated by the Cabinet in March 1995. The strategy is the result of an extensive process of research and analysis and has drawn on international experiences. Both Business Against Crime and NGO's concerned with crime prevention have made a substantial contribution to this strategy.

The NCPS has the following objectives:

--The establishment of a comprehensive policy framework which will enable government to address crime in a coordinated and focused manner which draws on the resources of all government agencies, as well as civil society.

--The promotion of a shared understanding and common vision of how we, as a nation, are going to tackle crime. This vision should also inform and stimulate initiatives at provincial and local level.

--The development of a set of national programmes which serve to kick start and focus the efforts of various government departments in delivering quality service aimed at solving the problems leading to high crime levels.

--The maximisation of civil society's participation in mobilising and sustaining crime prevention initiatives.

--Creation of a dedicated and integrated crime prevention capacity which can conduct ongoing research and evaluation of departmental and public campaigns as well as facilitating effective crime prevention programmes at provincial and local level.

This National Crime Prevention Strategy is based on a fundamentally new approach by government. In particular, it requires the development of wider responsibility for crime prevention and a shift in emphasis from reactive "crime control"; which deploys most resources towards responding after crimes have already been committed, towards proactive "crime prevention" aimed at preventing crime from occurring at all.

The strategy focuses on a number of challenges. In particular:

--Existing crime data is very unreliable and can be misleading. This places a priority on gathering reliable crime information so as to facilitate effective deployment of resources and dynamic strategic planning.

--Media representations of crime are very influential in shaping public perceptions. These are however, often disproportionately responsive to audible interest groups in society, rather than to less obvious, but important, crime issues. An effective communications strategy, based on reliable information, is important in properly informing public opinion in the fight against crime.

--This strategy concentrates on National Programmes and on developing a conceptual framework for crime prevention at all levels....


This strategy is based on a comprehensive analysis of the present crime situation....

Crime levels in South Africa are affected by many of the same universal factors which manifest themselves in other countries. Our unique situation and history have however contributed to a range of factors specific to our situation. Some of these factors are outlined below:

--Comparative research ... suggests that all forms of crime increase during periods of political transition....

--The Government of National Unity inherited, intact, the entire public service ... Insufficient and illequipped personnel, combined with outdated systems, and fragmented departments, have contributed to a system that has been unable to cope with the demands created by the need to provide services to all the people of South Africa.

--The political transition also generated substantial material expectations many of which were largely beyond the immediate delivery capacity of the new government. This has generated frustrated expectations. ... In addition, the legitimation of violence associated with political causes has served to decriminalise certain categories of crime related to intergroup conflict or political rivalries....

--South Africa's violent history has left us with a "culture of violence", which contributes to the high levels of violence associated with criminal activity in South Africa....

--Historically shaped, poverty and underdevelopment provide key contextual factors in understanding increasing crime levels....

--The historic marginalisation of the youth, combined with the slow growth in the job market, has contributed to the creation of a large pool of "at risk"; young people.

--While economic growth and development are crucial in addressing the factors which lead to crime, poorly managed development can itself contribute to increased crime rates.

--The problem of rising crime levels has become something of a "political football". The tendency of political parties to use the issue as a vote catcher has resulted in the generation of single-factor causes and solutions to crime and violence....

--The absence of services to victims of crime means that the negative impact of crime on individual, family and community is largely ignored.

--The number and easy accessibility of fire-arms is a major contributor to violent crime....

--Gender inequality, both in terms of popular attitudes and the inadequate service offered buy the criminal justice system to women, contributes to the high levels of violence perpetrated against women.


It is important to recognise that there is no single cause of crime in South Africa.... At the same time, different types of crime have different root causes, and hence require different approaches to prevention. The National Crime Prevention Strategy is based on the principle of separate examination of each form of crime. This principle of "dis-aggregation" runs through the NCPS ...

This dis-aggregated examination of different crime types leads to the inevitable conclusion that sustainable prevention can only be achieved through a multi-faceted approach. Crime needs to be tackled in a comprehensive way, which means going beyond an exclusive focus on policing and the Justice system. It means problem-solving to address the causal factors which provide opportunities for crime and limit the likelihood of detection....

In one sense all crime is related, in that the proliferation of petty offences creates a sense of lawlessness, within which the community is more likely to turn a blind eye to much more serious offences. On the other hand it is necessary to focus limited resources on the most important crimes. For this reason we have prioritised seven key crime categories....

The crime categories of particular concern are:

1. Crimes involving fire-arms which have significantly increased the level of violence associated with crime, thereby increasing physical and psychological costs of crime to society.

2. Organised Crime, including the organised smuggling of illegal immigrants and narcotics, and gangsterism, serve to generate higher levels of criminality and violence. Since the advent of democracy and the reintegration of South Africa into the international community, we have seen a rapid growth in this form of crime.

3. White Collar Crime places a burden on the economy and contributes to the prevailing sense of lawlessness.

4. Gender Violence and crimes against children are not only highly prevalent but have a profoundly negative impact on the rights and future well-being of women and children.

5. Violence associated with inter-group conflict, such as political conflicts, taxi violence and land disputes are unacceptably common in South Africa and pose a threat to democratic tolerance and orderly coexistence.

6. Vehicle Theft and Hijacking has increased substantially and has contributed to increased levels of fear and insecurity.

7. Corruption within criminal justice system, contributes to a general climate of lawlessness, and serves to undermine the legitimacy and effectiveness of the criminal justice system.


The government has adopted the four pillar approach as a model which sets out the different areas in which crime prevention should be developed, This model is intended to provide a basis for the development of crime prevention initiatives at provincial and municipal levels, as well as through civil society initiatives.


The Criminal Justice Process aims to make the criminal justice system more efficient and effective. It must provide a sure and clear deterrent for criminals and reduce the risks of re-offending.


Reducing Crime through Environmental Design focuses on designing systems to reduce the opportunity for crime and increase the ease of detection and identification of criminals.


Public Values and Education concern initiatives aimed at changing the way communities react to crime and violence. It involves programmes which utilise public education and information in facilitating meaningful citizen participation in crime prevention.


Transnational crime programmes aim at improving the controls over cross border traffic related to crime and reducing the refuge which the region offenders to international criminal syndicates.



An effective and legitimate criminal justice system is a vital foundation for crime prevention and the protection of human rights. This pillar will be addressed at a national level by 8 key programmes designed to revamp and energise the criminal justice system as a whole. The key aims of programmes in this pillar are:

--To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice system as a deterrent to crime and as a source of relief and support to victims.

--To improve the access of dis-empowered groups to the criminal justice process. These include women, children and victims in general.

--To focus the resources of the criminal justice system on priority crimes.

--To forge inter-departmental integration of policy and management, in the interests of co-ordinated planning, coherent action and the effective use of resources.

--To improve the service delivered by the criminal justice process to victims, through increasing accessibility to victims and sensitivity to their needs.

National Programme

1.1 Re-engineering of Criminal Justice Process

This programme is aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the criminal justice process, thus increasing the probability of successful investigation, prosecution and punishment for priority crimes. It aims to reduce the time period which elapses between the reporting of a crime and sentencing, hence improving the deterrent quality of the criminal justice system, as well as enhancing public confidence....

Lead Agency: JUSTICE, assisted by Safety and Security, Correctional Services, Welfare, private sector and NGO's.

Key Actions:

--Unblock blockages in process between investigation, arrest, prosecution and conviction.

--Strengthen weak points through designing new systems, training personnel and funding critical leverage points.

National Proqramme

1.2 Criminal Justice Information Management

The Criminal Justice System is essentially information driven. However, existing information systems are outdated, fragmented and sometimes require arduous manual search and retrieval of data. Quality information is essential for investigation, prosecution and sentencing and is crucial in deciding how best to use limited resources. Improved quality and effective use of information are critical factors in enhancing the efficiency of the criminal justice system as a whole and are the objects of this programme.

Lead Agency: SAFETY AND SECURITY assisted by Justice, Correctional Services, Welfare, private sector and NGO's.

Key Actions:

--Create networks between departments for data concerning cases, suspects and convicts which will enable shared use of systems, cost saving and improvements in efficiency.

--Design of data programmes to assist in assessing the effectiveness of different functions within the criminal justice process. This will support better decision-making, resource allocation and strategic planning.

National Programme

1.3 Crime Information and Intelligence

Adequate crime information is vital, not only for the effective investigation and prosecution of organised crime syndicates, but as a key resource in developing preventive strategies under pillars 2, 3 and 4. This programme involves focusing resources and improve co-ordination and analysis at all levels. It also involves making more effective use of existing "intelligence".

Lead Agency: NICOC (National Intelligence Coordinating Committee), assisted by Justice, Defence, Safety and Security, Correctional Services, Welfare, the South African Secret Service, academic analysts and NGO's who focus on crime trends and syndicates.

Key Actions:

--Increase the analysis of strategic information for crime-prevention purposes.

--Greater integration of crime data gathered at station level into a comprehensive strategic analysis of criminal trends.

--Integration of public sources of information and analysis with "intelligence" gathered by other means, and making certain crime intelligence more widely available to facilitate local initiatives and community empowerment.

National Programme

1.4 Prosecutorial Policy

The investigative and prosecutorial priority placed on different offences, is a key factor in the effective use of resources. In order to optimise investigative and court capacity, as well as to build public confidence, a clear prosecutorial policy is required. This policy will rest with the Attorneys General (AG's) and it is vital that this programme should not impinge on the independence of the Judiciary.

Lead Agency: JUSTICE, in collaboration with AG's, Law Commission and the Department of Safety and Security.

Key Actions:

--Establishment of guidelines to place more emphasis on priority crimes and ensure that the needs of special interest groups are met.

--Improvement and control of linkages between police and prosecutors to improve efficiency, within the bounds of police impartiality and judicial independence

National Programme

1.5 Appropriate Community Sentencing

Available correctional resources must be used in a targeted way to deal more effectively with serious offenders. The imposition of prison sentences on minor offenders reduces the likelihood of re-integration into society and further burdens the criminal justice system. Increasing the availability of community sentencing options on conviction increases humane treatment of minor offenders and will improve the effectiveness of corrections more widely by reducing the burden on the correctional services department. This will also reduce recidivism within this sector.

Lead Agency: CORRECTIONAL SERVICES, assisted by Welfare, the Department of Safety and Security, Justice, the Law commission and NGO's involved with offender rehabilitation.

Key Actions:

--Development of criteria in line with the priority crimes described above and guidelines for sentencing which are canvassed with the Judiciary.

--Review and upgrade existing community sentencing options and examine the potential roles of community service providers in this regard.

National Programme

1.6 Diversion Programme for Minor Offenders

The criminal justice system is enormously costly and often inappropriate for dealing with petty offenders, particularly juveniles, where stigmatisation can pose an intolerable burden on the normal developmental path to responsible adult citizenship. This programme aims to divert petty offenders and juveniles out of the criminal justice system.

Lead Agency: WELFARE, assisted by the departments of Correctional Services, Justice, Defence, Safety and Security and non-governmental organisations concerned with child welfare and the rehabilitation of offenders.

Key Actions:

--Extend existing capacity for diversion on the basis of agreed national guidelines and criteria.

--Develop standardised referral system, in consultation with Attorneys General and South African Police Service.

National Programme

1.7 Secure Care for Juveniles

Youthful offenders suspected of serious offences should not be held in standard prison or police cells. They do, however, need to be held securely, in an environment which limits unnecessary trauma and strengthens the likelihood of eventual re-integration into society. This requires the creation of special secure care facilities for young suspects and convicts.

Lead Agency: WELFARE, through the interministerial committee on Young People at Risk, which includes the department of Justice, Safety and Security and Correctional Services. This team will be assisted by other key departments such as Public Works, NGO's and the Private Sector.

Key Actions:

--Speed up the completion or conversion of necessary buildings for Secure Care Facilities for juveniles.

--Implement legislative steps and social programmes to discourage the exploitation of juveniles by criminal syndicates.

National Programme

1.8 Rationalisation of Legislation

In the past, legislation which relates to crime prevention has not been coordinated in a coherent programme. This programme is aimed at improving and streamlining the development of legislation required to improve crime prevention. It is aimed at ensuring that legislation address the protection of special interest groups, including women and children.

Lead Agency: JUSTICE, supported by Safety and Security the South African Law Commission, the relevant portfolio committees of the National Assembly.

Key Actions:

--Review the progress of all legislation promoted by a departments which will contribute to crime prevention.

--Speed up the preparation of key legislation which is necessary in supporting crime prevention efforts.

National Proqramme

1.9 Victim Empowerment Programme

Recognition of the role and rights of victims are vital in addressing the effects of crime and creating crime-resistant communities. This programme is aimed at making the criminal justice process more victim-friendly minimising the negative effects of crime on its victims. This empowerment of victims is aimed at creating a greater role for victims in the criminal justice process, as well as providing protection against repeat victimisation.

Lead Agency: WELFARE, supported by Health, Safety & Security, Justice, Local Health authorities and service groups.

Key Actions:

--Extend training to police and justice officials which introduces greater victim sensitivity, as well as referral to other service providers to address the effects of crime.

--Implement a victim support programme, based on surveys of victims' experiences of the criminal justice system.

--Provide basic information to complainants and victims regarding the progress of all cases, as well as key information which enables victims to lay complaints more easily.


The high incidence of many forms of crime is due to an environment which provides ample opportunities for crime, and where risks of detection, or prosecution are low. This pillar will extend the development of security-based design of residential areas buildings and shopping centres. Ultimately the objective of this pillar is to ensure that safety and crime prevention considerations are applied in the development of all new structures and systems, and in the re-design and upgrading of old areas.

The objectives of this pillar are:

--To encourage awareness of the possibilities of environmental design in reducing and preventing crime.

--To promote the use of environmental designs in new areas including in the design of delivery systems, the organisation of industries and accounting systems.

The four initial national programmes covered here exist in areas where the needs are well established. These are by no means exhaustive and it is envisaged that other programmes will be initiated in the near future, at national, provincial and at local level.

National Programme

2.1 Environmental Design and Maintenance

While environmental design to reduce crime is not new, no integrated policy has existed on this matter. Active support is required for the development of greater awareness and capacity in the field of environmental crime prevention. The importance of maintaining of existing infrastructure and services in high risk areas must also be strengthened through incentives and policy direction from all levels of government.

Lead Agency: SAFETY and SECURITY, supported by Sport and Recreation, Trade and Industry, Home Affairs, Justice, Health, Welfare, Provincial and Local Government and professional associations such as architects, town planners and the security industry, as well as development agencies and non-governmental organisations.

Key Actions:

--Establish institutional capacity to research, advise and monitor environmental design within the private sector and to develop an environmental design policy for government.

--Examine the need for greater regulation of business sectors involving high-value commodities which fuel the development of crime.

National Proqramme

2.2 Identification System

The existence of a functional system of citizen identification is an important, enabling condition for effective governance It also provides an important underlying resource for regulation and law enforcement. The effectiveness of the new ID system in crime prevention applications requires both that service providers utilise the national ID system as a safety check, and that clear guidelines are developed to prevent abuse of the system from impinging on the rights of citizens.

Lead Agency: HOME AFFAIRS, supported by Safety and Security, Justice, Transport, Service Providers and the Private Sector.

Key Actions:

--Establish mechanisms for law enforcement agencies to access the National ID system where required.

--Speed up the Implementation of a new ID system which utilises an Automated Fingerprint Identification System, as well as the implementation of a network which allows "on-line" checking of ID validity.

--Facilitate education and publicity on the applications of this ID system for private and public service providers.

National Proqramme

2.3 Motor Vehicle Regulation

High levels of motor vehicle theft are linked to the ease with which stolen vehicles can be sold for parts, or re-registered as new vehicles. In support of police action, it is vital to reduce the ease with which this commodity is recycled into cash. This could be achieved through the introduction of a universal Motor Vehicle Parts marking system, as wall as an improved licensing system, and through other measures which have yet to be assessed.

Lead Agency: SAFETY and SECURITY, supported by Transport, Trade and Industry, Provincial and Local Traffic Authorities. Civil Society bodies such as the Automobile Association and Business Against Crime the Taxi Industry and the panelbeating industry also have a key role to play.

Key Actions:

--Establish consensus with role-players on major prevention initiatives in respect of vehicle crime

--Speed up the Implementation of a new Licensing System.

--Improve the co-ordination and co-operation between all role-players involved in the Motor Vehicle sector.

National Proqramme

2.4 Corruption and Commercial Crime

White collar crime, corruption within government, and serious economic offences involve huge resources and impose a great burden on government and business. Extensive white collar crime complements organised crime and helps to promote a sense of lawlessness. This programme involves initiatives to strengthen internal regulations and control, and steps to uncover hidden crime the public and private sector.

Lead Agency: SAFETY and SECURITY, supported by Justice, the Independent Complaints Directorate, Intelligence agencies, the Departments of Finance, Trade and Industry, The Public Service Commission and Public Protector, Private Sector, Professional and Consumer bodies and the Committee on Harmful Business Practises.

Key Actions:

--Establish consensus on codes of conduct for business and government, with regard to white collar crime and corruption.

--Speed up the implementation of legislation to restrict money laundering.

--Provide a government/civil society resource on trends and information required to address corruption.


The prevailing moral climate within communities, attitudes towards crime, and the willingness of citizens and communities to take responsibility for crime are critical factors in reducing tolerance towards crime, and hence reducing crime levels. This pillar covers strategies aimed at intervening in the way in which society engages with and responds to crime and conflict. Given fiscal constraints, it is vital to improve public information and harness greater citizen responsibility and involvement in crime prevention.

This pillar aims to:

--Improve public understanding of the Criminal Justice System, to enable fuller participation.

--Enhance crime awareness to underpin the development of strong community values and social pressure against criminality.

--To promote nonviolent conflict resolution, awareness of gender issues and the empowerment of sectors prone to victimisation.

National Proqramme

3.1 Public Education Prouramme

Public awareness of the causes and implications of crime, including the purchase of stolen property is a key factor in crime prevention. This programme involves the development of a focused, needs-based public education programme, which aims to alter public attitudes and responses to crime and to activities which support crime It is also vital in forging a national vision around crime prevention.

Lead Agency: SAFETY and SECURITY, supported by the South African Communication Service, Justice, Welfare, Correctional Services, Health, Business Against Crime, Organised Labour, Religious Groups and NGO's. Provincial and Local government and local community groups are also key role-players in this area.

Key Actions:

--The launch of a National Public Education programme on crime.

--Liaison with provinces to initiate provincial and local public education programmes.

--A comprehensive internal education programme for officials within various government departments, in order to provide a basis for the dynamic implementation of the NCPS as a whole.

National Programme

3.2 School-based education against crime

The school is a key arena in which attitudes, values and life skills are developed. Formal schooling provides an opportunity for the creation of responsible and empowered citizenship at an early age. By providing a basic grounding in the workings of the criminal justice system as well as key life skills which build confidence and provide ammunition to deal with victimisation, this programme aims eventually to create new relations between citizens and to facilitate the administration of justice.

Lead Agency: EDUCATION, Correctional Services, Justice, Welfare (Youth at Risk Committee), Safety and Security, Home Affairs, Health, Provincial Education authorities and NGO's.

Key Actions:

--The development of a pilot schools curriculum and the selection of pilot schools across the country.

--The production of materials for teacher training and classroom facilitation.


International and regional criminal syndicates have a large influence in promoting crime in South Africa. The movement of people and commodities across national borders poses a significant challenge to law enforcement in the region. This Pillar aims to:

--Restrict the smuggling of commodities across borders through better regulation of ports of entry and border zones.

--Mobilise and coordinate border policing resources in Southern Africa.

--Improve coordination between South African agencies responsible for border regulation, the control of ports of entry, the implementation of immigration policy.

--Prioritise the deployment of intelligence capacity, to focus on regional movements and methods employed by crime syndicates.

The emphasis on trans-national crime must be complemented by an integrated regional development strategy which aims to reduce the huge disparities in income in the region.

National Proqramme

4.1 Transnational Orqanised Crime

The bulk of trans-national crime involves organised syndicates which are a major contributor to the increase in general crime levels. South Africa has become a recent target for organised crime, because of its relative affluence and the relative weakness of regulation of movement of people and goods across regional borders. This programme will focus both South African and regional law enforcement and intelligence resources on trans-national organised crime.

Lead Agency: SAFETY and SECURITY, Trade and Industry, Foreign Affairs, Defence, National Intelligence Co-ordinating Committee, Justice, Inter-state Defence and Security Committee(ISDSC), South African Secret Service, Home Affairs and the South African Revenue Service (SANS).

Key Actions:

--Activation of the structures of the ISDSC to provide for regional intelligence and security co-ordination.

--Forge tight co-operation between agencies working with cross-border transactions and tariffs.

National Programme

4.2 Border Control and Ports of Entry

Inadequate regulation of land and sea borders and national air space, combined with poorly regulated ports of entry, create easy opportunities for criminal activity. Large-scale illegal immigration has received the most public attention, although its contribution to crime levels is probably overrated. Nevertheless it warrants closer attention through this programme which aims to improve controls over cross border movements of persons and goods to enable detection of cross-border crime.

Lead Agency: SAFETY and SECURITY, Defence, Trade and Industry, Justice, Foreign Affairs, National Intelligence Coordinating Committee, South African Secret Service, Home Affairs and the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

Key Actions:

--Integrate the workings of the five agencies involved with regulation of ports of entry,

--Manage the effective implementation of the Aliens Control Act of 1995, Activation of the structures of the ISDSC to provide for regional intelligence and security co-ordination.


This NCPS strategy document provides sufficient detail to underpin the implementation of the NCPS as a part of the Growth and Development Strategy.

Implementation will be on the basis of the following principles:

--Crime prevention cannot be tackled by government alone, or by one sector of government alone. It requires an integrated, multi-agency approach where all relevant departments view crime prevention as a shared responsibility and collective priority;

--Substantially increased expenditure on security is not possible. Rather, the strategy should comprise distinct, effectively driven, critical programmes that focus on removing blockages, boosting the system, and synergising departmental contributions. This requires a new, more integrated approach from government and several of the national programmes are designed to give effect to closer co-ordination;

--Developing effective prevention strategies requires the identification and analysis of the range of factors that give rise to each crime problem;

--Primary responsibilities for the implementation of the strategy rests with line departments at various levels of government. In this regard, existing capacity within line departments must be prioritised to meet the overall objectives of the NCPS. This may require the development of new capacity and the use of outside resources and expertise;

--Consultation with civil society around crime prevention should aim to give effect to the contribution that can potentially be made from civil society.

8.1 National Roles And Responsibilities

The Ministry for Safety and Security has been tasked with ensuring the success of the NCPS. Several mechanisms, which involve the Directors General of national departments, appropriate Ministers, as well as support structures, are being established to review departmental plans in order to ensure that the necessary planning, budgeting and the redirection of resources takes place in support of the NCPS.

The Directors General will also be responsible for monitoring implementation of the various aspects of the NCPS and reporting progress to their Ministers.

The NCPS Co-ordinating mechanism will be responsible for communicating the NCPS, both within government and publicly. Such communication is vital if all the role-players are to play their roles in this vital project.

8.2 Provincial Roles

It is the view of the National Government that Provincial Government has a key role to play, both in the development of provincial crime prevention strategies, as well as in the mobilising of multi-agency and citizen resources in aid of crime prevention efforts.

Provincial Summits are being organised in each province, and will provide an anchor point both for the development of considered feedback on the NCPS, and the development of integrated provincial plans based on the National Strategy.

Close co-ordination and joint planning is necessary between the national mechanisms and the provinces. These will be co-ordinated through the Inter-Governmental Forum as well as through various MINMEC fora.

8.3 Local Government Roles

Recognising that local authorities, especially those in urban areas, have a central role to play in crime prevention, local governments will be encouraged both to review and refine this NCPS, and to implement local crime prevention programmes.

The exact strategies and mechanisms that local governments adopt should be based on local crime prevention priorities and should preferably fit within the four pillar framework set out in this document.

It is vital that local government structures acquire the necessary skills to engage with crime prevention issues and develop the required capacity to drive crime prevention projects.


The National Crime Prevention Strategy represents a turning point in the battle against crime This strategy is a truly South African product, which is rooted in the reality of our society....

The strategy is based on the view that we need to build a new society, rather than simply normalise something which was never normal. The magnitude of the challenge should not be under-estimated. It requires commitment, clarity of vision and leadership from within all national government institutions, provincial and local government, and participation by civil society.

Department of Safety and Security, Strategic Plan for the South African Police Service: 2002-2005--RP-40/2002 *

The South African Constitution lays down

That the South African Police Service has a responsibility to:

--prevent, combat and investigate crime;

--maintain public order;

--protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property; and

--uphold and enforce the law.

The Vision of the South African Police Service is to:

--create a safe and secure environment for all people in South Africa.

The Mission of the South African Police Service is to:

--prevent anything that may threaten the safety or security of any community;

--investigate any crimes that threaten the safety or security of any community;

--ensure criminals are brought to justice; and

--participate in efforts to address the root causes of crime

The values held by the South African Police Service are to:

--protect everyone's rights and to be impartial, respectful, open and accountable to the community;

--use the powers given to us in a responsible way;

--provide a responsible, effective and high quality service with honesty and integrity;

--evaluate our service continuously and make every effort to improve on it;

--use our resources in the best way possible;

--develop the skills of all members through equal opportunity; and

--co-operate with the community, all levels of Government and other role-players.


2.1 Key departmental objectives

The point of departure adopted in determining the key departmental objectives and programmes was based on the objects of the Police Service as provided by section 205 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, which determines the powers, functions and duties of the Police Service. The objectives of the police service are--

--to prevent crime;

--to combat crime;

--to investigate crime;

--to maintain public order;

--to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic, and their property; and

--to uphold and enforce the law.

Apart from the Constitution, the South African Police Service Act 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995), numerous other Acts, and the common law also provide for the powers, functions and duties of the Police Service. Specific National Orders ensure that these powers, functions and duties are exercised in a uniform and efficient manner....

2.2 Key Strategic Focus Areas

--A National Security Policy was developed in order for the SAPS to fulfil its mandate as described above. The policy is aimed at integrating crime prevention and crime combating activities with socio-economic upliftment. To implement this Policy three phases were identified: A short-term stabilisation phase (2000-2003), a medium-term normalisation phase (2000-2005), and a long-term socio-economic development phase (2000-2020). The first two phases are the primary responsibility of the SAPS in co-operation with other role-players, but in the socio-economic development phase the SAPS plays only a supporting and advisory role to departments in the Social Cluster.

--The National Security Policy is being co-ordinated by the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster. The main objective of the JCPS is to focus their endeavours and resources jointly in addressing the incidence of crime, public disorder, inefficiency in the justice system, and all aspects of society that impact negatively on development.

--In order to realise this, the JCPS Cluster have identified several strategic interventions which are categorised under the following themes--

--The transformation of the criminal justice system.

--A joint crime prevention and crime combating strategy.


--Linked to the National Security Policy, the SAPS developed key strategic priorities and strategies to address the high levels of crime and violence. The Department has set four key operational priorities for the medium term.

--The first of these is to combat organised crime, focusing on crimes relating to drugs, firearms trafficking, vehicle theft and hijacking, corrupt public officials, and organised commercial crime.

--The second priority revolves around South Africa's unacceptably high levels of serious and violent crime. The Department has developed strategies to--

--counter the proliferation of firearms, as this fuels high levels of violent crime;

--improve safety and security in high-crime areas;

--combat specific crime generators such as taxi and gang violence, and faction fighting; and

--maintain security at major public events.

--The third priority focuses on the developing strategies to reduce the incidence of crimes against women and children, while also improving the investigation and prosecution of these crimes.

--The fourth priority is to improve service delivery at local level.

The Department has also identified two key organisational priorities for the medium-term.

--The first organisational priority is budget and resource management which focuses on optimising the balance between personnel and operational expenditure, as well as optimising the application of physical resources.

--The second priority, human resource management, focuses on--

--optimising the utilisation of personnel;

--developing and implementing policies concerning human resources;

--developing human resources;

--implementing the policy of affirmative action;

--institutionalising performance management;

--institutionalising an ethos of professional service; and

--developing and implementing an Employee Assistance Programme.

2.2.4 The Strategic Plan follows a multidisciplinary approach that directs managerial, human, and logistical resources to all areas where crime is disproportionately high. The Department has identified approximately 145 areas accounting for more than 50 per cent of serious crimes....


3.2 Strategies

The South African Police Service has developed the following strategies to implement the priorities identified.

3.2.1 National Crime Combating Strategy (NCCS)

(a) Approach to crime priorities

The prevailing incidence of crime and violence in South Africa, particularly in certain areas, has necessitated the close scrutiny and analysis of the crime situation and intelligence picture to determine which areas in South Africa have the highest incidence of crime and violence (geographical hot spots), and what approach should be followed to stabilise these areas. This has led to the identification of high-crime areas where more than 50 per cent of the serious, violent and organised crimes such as hijackings, attacks on farms and smallholdings, and bank robberies, occur.

The SAPS has followed an approach of stabilising crime in the identified areas since 1 April 2000. Approximately 140 station areas have already been identified from the almost 1 200 station areas. These station areas have been grouped into crime combating zones which do not necessarily correspond with the boundaries of police areas. In some instances a crime combating zone may fall within two or more police areas or provinces. Crime combating zones may also include station areas adjacent to identified hot spot areas to prevent crime spilling over into neighbouring stations.

An approach has, therefore, been adopted whereby the serious and violent, as well as organised crime in the identified areas or zones are stabilised to enable normal crime management, and to create a climate conducive to socio-economic development. This is achieved by means of the Geographic Approach and the Organised Crime Approach which, among other things, entail the appointment of multidisciplinary crime combating teams.

These approaches are augmented by comprehensive strategies to deal with the proliferation of firearms, and crimes against women and children. During the stabilisation period, seen as a short-term operational approach, specific emphasis is placed on improving service delivery and developing capacity at local level.

To further consolidate the multidisciplinary approach for addressing crime in the identified areas, the Minister for Safety and Security and the National Commissioner of the SAPS have set in motion joint co-operation between their departments and other relevant departments such as Justice, Health, Water Affairs, Correctional Services, SANDF, Forestry, and Constitutional Development. Various departments, therefore, interact with the Safety and Security operational structures either in addressing crime or social needs within a specific area.

--Geographic approach

In terms of this approach components that operated in isolation in the past, now share intelligence, and human and physical resources. They address crime within an identified crime area in an integrated manner. Multidisciplinary teams comprising operational members currently policing specific areas are developing integrated plans to address crime in those areas. A decentralised, multidisciplinary, intelligence-driven approach has, therefore, also been adopted.

Crime Task Groups as reflected by figure 1, have been established.


These task teams initiate operations in the identified high-crime areas through a Joint Operational Committee (JOC) on the basis of a crime intelligence profile. The operations they launch include investigations, surveillance, cordon and search operations, high-density operations, roadblocks, searches, arrest of wanted persons, and crime prevention operations in general.

--Selected organised crime

A process has been implemented to identify the crime syndicates, which have the biggest impact on organised crime. Organised Crime Project Teams are being established to neutralise these syndicates. The operational concept for combating selected organised crime is set out in figure 2.


The approach adopted in this regard is to focus on key syndicates as opposed to individual crimes. Investigations are intelligence driven and are co-ordinated by a detective. Investigating teams are multidiscplinary, which ensures that an integrated approach is followed. The existing specialised units such as SANAB, Vehicle Crime units, Firearm units, and Anti-corruption units are being restructured into multidisciplinary Organised Crime units.

--Proliferation of firearms

To eradicate the proliferation of firearms for use and availability in crime and violence in South Africa.

Focus area 1:

Development and maintenance of appropriate firearms related regulators.

The regulators focus on legislation, regulations, international instruments and instructions issued to manage the flow and possession of firearms in SA....

Focus area 2:

Develop and maintain effective control processes and procedures regarding firearms.

Focus will be on the development and optimisation of all control processes and capacity to ensure Firearm Control....

Focus area 3:

Reduction and eradication of the illegal pool and criminal use of firearms

Focus area 4:

Prevention of crime and violence through awareness and social crime prevention partnerships.

Programmes to target social intervention in terms of firearm violence, responsible use and the implementation of new concepts contained in the FCA....

--Crimes against women and children

Although certain crimes, specifically violent crime against women and children, are also dealt with through the geographic approach and organised crime investigations, this phenomenon is so widespread that it demands a broader strategy and concerted effort.

The strategy has been designed to conform to the regulatory framework set by international conventions and the Domestic Violence Act, which is one of the most important tools in this regard.

The approach is aimed at combating crime against women and children by vigorously implementing the prescripts of the Domestic Violence Act. This is augmented by victim empowerment and support programmes, and partnerships with relevant institutions such as the National Network of Violence Against Women, the Gender Commission and the Human Rights Commission.

Best practices developed to date (such as the intersectoral approach, crisis centres and awareness programmes) are being introduced in priority areas where these types of crimes are prevalent.

The capacity of special units is being enhanced to deal with cases of family violence, child abuse, and sexual abuse The compilation of the DNA Database and its application to investigate these crimes enjoys high priority to ensure successful prosecution.

--Improving integrity--dealing with corruption

Although the Organised Crime Strategy and the existing Anti-corruption units deal with corruption, the international approach of addressing service integrity both proactively and reactively is being adopted systematically.

Whilst the current repressive methods of dealing with corruption through intelligence, investigation and prosecution are being maintained, the integrated approach, as set out in the Organised Crime Strategy above, has been implemented to deal with corrupt officials involved in organised crime.

In addition to this, management information is being put into place by analysing the repressive environment, and loopholes in control measures and human integrity in order to determine the key risk areas.

Preventative measures are being implemented in two key areas:

--Focus area 1: Organisational control measures.

--Focus area 2: Human integrity.

(b) Approach to organisational priorities

The approach adopted is one of focused support to the operational strategy of the Police Service. All initiatives in the organisational environment will be managed through an integrated support strategy with the aim of rendering maximum support to the operational strategy to enable results in the shortest possible time.

Medium- to long-term strategies have been or are being developed for each of the organisational priorities. This is augmented by short-term strategies in support of the operational strategy, and will be reviewed continuously according to operational needs.

3.2.2 Service Delivery Improvement Programme

(a) In line with the Constitution, SAPS Act, Public Service Regulations, and the Mission and Service Standards of the SAPS, the purpose of the Service Delivery Improvement Programme (SDIP) is to improve the quality of service delivery by the following means:

Developing the skills and knowledge of SAPS members, enabling them to--

--provide quality policing services responsibly, confidently and independently; and

--approach policing-needed issues from a client-centred, problem-solving perspective.

(b) The focus of the SDIP is to ensure compliance with the principles of Batho Pele as stipulated in Regulation 14 of the Police Service Regulations.

(c) The objectives of the SDIP are--

--to ensure effective planning on various organisational levels;

--to enable police members to be innovative and creative in problem solving for their own development and to the benefit of the organisation;

--to provide police members with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to function at different levels in diverse situations;

--to enable police members to deliver an efficient service, both internally and externally;

--to identify performance gaps on various organisational levels;

--to ensure community participation in determining and addressing local policing priorities; and

--to provide a monitoring and evaluation mechanism for organisational performance evaluation.

(i) to succeed in the SDIP, members are expected to demonstrate knowledge and skills to be able to determine, interpret and appropriately apply the national law in accordance with the Constitution, Police Service Act, and other policy directives.

(ii) In response to requests for service and assistance, the members should possess the ability to work with individuals and communities from diverse groups in order to--identify existing and potential community-related problems;

--develop and suggest alternative, preventative and remedial plans; and

--use effective partnerships to implement these plans, and assess results for implementation and evaluation.

(iii) In response to activities in progress, members should possess the ability to analyse diverse situations and make conclusions about the risks involved.

(iv) In approaching and managing situations, members should--

--maximise public and police safety;

--avoid and/or diffuse conflict situations;

--make effective use of community resources during response, if appropriate, and where possible; and

--support victims in a sensitive manner, and refer them to the appropriate institutions for further assistance.

(v) During and after the investigation of incidents, members should possess the ability to--

--gather the necessary information by applying effective investigative techniques and skills professionally; and handle and interpret evidence properly and safely.

(vi) When making an arrest members should--

--effect the arrest according to the Law and Constitution;

--escort and transport suspects and prisoners in a way which will ensure public safety;

--respect the rights and dignity, and ensure the safety of the suspects and prisoners; and

--testify effectively in court, and be conversant with the relevant procedures.

(vii) To ensure the execution of planned activities, police members should initiate programmes and interventions to allocate the required resources to achieve the desired results.

3.2.3 Information Technology Resources Strategy (ITRS) The ITRS of the SAPS is the responsibility of Information and Systems Management (ISM). The ITRS is primarily constituted by the responsibilities prescribed in terms of the Public Service Regulations, and is delegated by the National Commissioner of the SAPS, as Head of the SAPS, to the Head of ISM. In terms of the prescripts of the Public Service Regulations the ISM is responsible for establishing Information and Technology plans. These plans should direct ISM's service delivery towards police stations.

The current ISM Strategic Framework is a framework of intent to direct the development and implementation of the strategic Information and Technology Plan (ITP)....

3.2.4 Human Resource Strategy

The SAPS Human Resource Management (HRM) Strategic Framework is based inter alia on the Public Service Act, 1994, Public Service Regulations, 2001, Public Finance Management Act, 1999, as well as the Employment Equity Act, 1998, and the Skills Development Act, 1998. In terms of these prescripts human resource planning should be done in support of the Department's Key Objectives and priorities to ensure the effective, efficient, economical and transparent use of resources.

Based on the HRM Strategic Framework, implementation plans will be developed within the framework of the "Guidelines on Integrated Human Resource Planning in the Public Service"....


--The Strategic Plan (2002-2005) provides the direction, content and framework for the Department's Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. The Plan indicates the Department's priorities and strategies in terms of which funds are allocated and directed for the purpose of addressing crime effectively and improving service delivery.

--The Plan ensures alignment of the organisation and its members in support of the strategic priorities and core functions of the SAPS.

--The Plan indicates the involvement of key role-players in other departments and society to combat crime and a linkage to relevant departments and society to ensure an integrated multi-disciplinary approach with a view to long-term socio-economic growth and development.

Department of Safety and Security, Vote 25: Safety and Security: 2003 Estimates of National Expenditure--10 June 2003 *


The aim of the Department of Safety and Security is to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of South Africa and their property, and uphold and enforce the law.


Programme 1: Administration

Purpose: Provide for the policy and management work of the Ministry, the Secretariat for Safety and Security and senior management,

Programme 2: Crime Prevention

Purpose: Enable the work of police stations and specific functional services such as the South African Police Service (SAPS) dog, equestrian, radio control and diving units.

Measurable objective: To provide a proactive policing service to discourage the occurrence of ell crimes, especially serious and violent crime, organised crimes, and crimes against women and children.

Programme 3: Operational Response Services

Purpose: Provide for the policing of South Africa's borders and for specialised policing services associated with the maintenance of public order, crowd management and high-risk functions performed by the Special Task Force.

Measurable objective: To police South Africa's ports of entry and exit to prevent drug trafficking and the illegal trade of goods and people; and to manage public gatherings in order to control incidents of unrest and disorderly crowds.

Programme 4: Detective Services

Purpose: Enable the investigative work of the South African Police Service, including support to investigators in terms of forensic evidence and the maintenance of the Criminal Record Centre.

Measurable objective: To investigate crimes and gather ell related evidence required by the prosecuting authority in order to redress crime.

Programme 5: Crime Intelligence

Purpose: Provide for the management of crime intelligence, the analysis of crime information, and technical support for crime prevention operations and investigations.

Measurable objective: To gather, collate and analyse intelligence information to generate reports that contribute to the neutralisation of crime threats.

Programme 6: Protection Services

Purpose: Render protection to foreign and local prominent persons.

Measurable objective: To protect foreign and local prominent people in order to prevent security breaches.


The policies governing policing ... are intended to ensure that crime levels are stabilised during the transformation process, and that relations between the police and community improve.

Strategic priorities

In January 2000 the Department of Safety and Security undertook an extensive strategic planning exercise. Strategic priorities were reviewed in terms of crime information and crime pattern analyses, and aligned with government policy. This resulted in the development and implementation of a strategic focus for the SAPS, which provided the framework for the 20022005 strategic plan.

The Department set four key strategic priorities for the medium term. The first is to combat organised crime, focusing on drug and firearm trafficking crimes, vehicle theft and hijacking, organised commercial crime and the corruption of public officials. The second is serious and violent crime The Department has developed strategies to: counter the proliferation of firearms which is fuelling high levels of violent crime; improve safety and security in high-crime areas; combat crimes that are catalysts for other forms of crime, such as taxi and gang violence, and faction fighting; and maintain security at major public events. The third priority is focused on strategies to reduce the incidence of crime against women and children to improve the investigation and prosecution of these crimes, mainly through the Domestic Violence Act (16 of 1998). The fourth priority is to improve service delivery at police stations. The Department identified human resources and budget management as key organisational priorities. Service delivery improvement is incorporated in operational plans at all levels within the SAPS. Operations at police stations are informed and directed by the National Crime Combating Strategy, a co-ordinated strategy to combat organised and serious violent crime Its multidisciplinary geographical approach focuses police resources on identified high-crime areas and on stations identified for special attention by the President.

The Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster and the Integrated Justice System

Strategies and priorities are aligned to the goals of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) and the Integrated Justice System (IJS), which co-ordinate interdepartmental crime prevention initiatives.

The JCPS strategy is being implemented in two phases, with the aim of stabilising crime levels by 2003 and aligning them to international standards by 2009. The normalising of crime levels during the second phase will depend on the extent to which the causes of crime are mitigated, many of which fall outside the ambit of the JCPS. Co-operation with departments in other clusters is imperative. For example, a JCPS task team has been established to co-ordinate the implementation of a multi-dimensional anti-drug strategy. This strategy forms part of the Drug Master Plan, which is being co-ordinated by the Central Drug Authority.

The IJS focuses more narrowly on the transformation of departments to modernise criminal justice processing in South Africa.
 Related excerpt from SAPS 2002/2003 Annual Report (p 5)

 A new IJS programme management structure has been adopted. The
 overall approach of the programme is to define business capabilities
 in terms of CASE, PERSON, EXHIBIT, Identification Services and
 Business Intelligence. During the latter half of 2002, the IJS Board
 initiated a process to co-ordinate IJS programmes and project
 activities, and to bring them in line with initiatives across
 multiple functional lines in the Cluster. The Development Committee
 was consequently established and mandated by the JCPS to align the
 shared objectives of the Cluster departments and to draft a
 collective business plan to inform decision makers and the
 budgeting process.

 To further promote co-operation and co-ordination between
 Cluster departments towards greater effectiveness and efficiency of
 the IJS, the need has been identified to establish interdepartmental
 (IJS co-operation) committees at provincial, area and local levels.
 There are various forums at several centres where Cluster
 departments discuss issues of mutual concern. Initiatives such as
 these are aimed at developing and promoting collective business
 processes to proactively manage issues of mutual concern in support
 of an effective and efficient justice process; identifying and
 addressing obstacles early on; rendering collective support to
 projects and interrelated processes, and developing and
 implementing performance measures.


Recently the SAPS has restructured significantly, particularly in protection services, specialised investigation units and community-oriented policing. In 2001, the nine provincial Very Important Person (VIP) protection units were amalgamated and three national units formed. Current recruitment procedures ensure that new placements have the correct physical and psychological profile

Since 2001 the SAPS has been restructuring the specialised investigation units to merge the original 500 into three specialised components that will focus on organised crime, serious and violent crime and commercial crime A significant advantage of this approach is that trained detectives will be available to assist detectives at police stations.

Enhancing policing presence

Crime prevention is based on the principles of community policing, namely that a community and its police service are equal partners and share responsibilities. To enhance police visibility, the sector policing concept was introduced in 2002/03. Partnerships between police officers, appointed as sector managers, and communities will strengthen existing community police forums.

In 2002 a new policy on the South African Reserve Police Service was implemented to facilitate and improve community involvement and co-operation in policing.

Policy on Police Emergency Services--including 10111 centres, the Flying Squad and the Highway Patrol--was revised to establish uniform standards for core functions and operational structures. During 2002 the SAPS established Crime Combating Units for deployment in support of local police in flashpoint areas when normal policing is inadequate for major incidents and disasters.

Services to victims

Since 1999 the Department has improved its service to victims of crime and violence, especially women, children and victims of sexual offences. The Department of Social Development is leading a Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) and has developed an officer training programme needed to institutionalise the VEP at all police stations. The SAPS, in co-operation with other departments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), is also involved in a JCPS anti-rape strategy and child justice initiatives.

Human resources

The SAPS obtained funding in the 2002 Budget to increase its personnel, to allow it to execute its basic policing functions more effectively, and to roll out the sector policing strategy more intensively, thereby increasing police visibility.

To combat corruption, a Service Integrity Framework has been developed. It is aimed at encouraging members to resist and expose corruption, and at improving management and supervision.
 Related excerpt from SAPS 2002/2003 Annual Report (p 4)

 Following the advent of democracy in South Africa and the
 establishment of the SAPS, the overwhelming priority of law
 enforcement was to create legitimacy for its institutions. Until
 1994, law enforcement institutions had served to maintain and
 enforce apartheid. The structure and functioning of the then SAP
 had to be transformed to ensure greater accountability in terms of
 the law, the Bill of Rights, and the community at large This
 transformation involved amalgamating, rationalizing and transforming
 the independent police agencies to make them legitimate in the eyes
 of the community and to create a solid basis for fighting crime.

 The priorities at the time were to invest in police
 infrastructure and equipment, and to start improving the
 conditions of service to raise police members' morale. Given these
 priorities, personnel numbers declined as the number of reported
 crimes rose. However, over the past few years, the budget of the
 Department for Safety and Security has increased, allowing the
 number of personnel to stabilize, and providing for the
 implementation of a special dispensation for police salaries in

New technology

The Department has also invested substantially in new technology in various areas of its operations. A Firearm Control System provides a mechanism to manage the business processes relating to all firearms and ammunition, from manufacture or import and ownership, until export or destruction.

Since September 2002, the Movement Control System has been fully computerised and installed at border posts and airports. The system assists in tracing wanted persons, goods and stolen vehicles, and monitors the movements of suspect persons and vehicles at ports of entry and exit.

Technological advances that have been introduced in the forensic science support environment include the Integrated Ballistic Identification System, the DNA Criminal Database, the Criminal Intelligence Database and the National Drug Intelligence Database. Advanced information management technology is presently being implemented at the Forensic Science Laboratory.

Project National Traffic Information System, led by the Department of Transport, envisages the sharing of vehicle information by various stakeholders in order to combat vehicle-related crime. The Vehicle Circulation System of the SAPS and the Department of Transport's system were interfaced with each other in 2001 and 2002. In order to curb the problem of false vehicle cancellation, the SAPS Vehicle Property Control System is being linked to the Vehicle Circulation System....

Programme 1: Administration

Administration provides for the policy development and management of the Department and the Ministry. Centralised functions include financial and administrative services, logistics management, general management services and human resources functions. The programme also provides for employer contributions for member medical aid benefits....

Programme 2: Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention funds services at police stations to institute and preserve safety and security. The programme reflects expenditure on Visible Policing--functional services rendered by police stations on Specialised Visible Policing--comprised of the services of the radio control, equestrian, dog and diving units....

Programme 3: Operational Response Services

Operationa/Response Services caters for public order, the security of South Africa's border posts and the prevention of specific types of crime. The Border Policing subprogramme provides for the policing of ports of entry and exit. The Public Order Policing subprogramme renders specialised policing services to maintain public order and manage crowds. It also includes the high risk functions performed by the Special Task Force....

Programme 4: Detective Services

Detective Services delivers the services required to effectively conduct investigations and facilitates the activities of detectives at all police stations and in specialised units.

--General Investigations accommodates detectives at police stations, who investigate a broad range of crimes that do not require skills that are too specialised.

--Organised Crime funds the investigation of the serious and violent crime, child protection and organised crime specialised units.

--Commercial Crime investigates complex commercial crimes.

--The Criminal Record Centre manages criminal records.

--The Forensic Science Laboratory provides specialised technical support to investigators....

Programme 5: Crime Intelligence

Crime Intelligence is responsible for the management of crime intelligence, the analysis of crime information, and some technical support to crime prevention and investigation. The subprogramme Crime Intelligence Operations provides for gathering intelligence and counter-intelligence. Intelligence and Information Management includes the analysis of crime intelligence and the crime intelligence management center....

Programme 6: Protection Services

Protection Services funds the protection of local and foreign prominent persons. The Presidential Protection Unit subprogramme provides for the protection of the President, the Deputy President, former presidents and their spouses. Static and In-transit Protection protects local and foreign VIPs.

Annual Report of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service: 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003--September 2003 *


Aim of the Vote

The aim of the Department of Safety and Security is to prevent, combat and investigate crime, to maintain public order, to protect and secure the inhabitants of South Africa and their property, and to uphold and enforce the law, in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.

Key objectives, programmes and achievements

The Department for Safety and Security provides policing services to the inhabitants of South Africa, and is tasked with preventing and investigating crime, and maintaining public order.

The SAPS was established in 1994 after the amalgamation of the 11 independent police agencies that existed before the nation's transition to democracy. The Service provides impartial, transparent and accountable policing that upholds and protects the rights of all people.

The policies that govern policing are set out in numerous documents, including the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) of 1996, and the National Crime Combating Strategy (NCCS) of 2000. These policies and strategies were intended to ensure that crime levels were stabilized during the transformation process and that police-community relations were improved.

The Department for Safety and Security has identified the following key objectives for the medium term:

--To provide a proactive policing service to reduce the incidence of all crime, but especially serious and violent crime, organized crime and crimes committed against women and children.

--To police South Africa's ports of entry and exit to prevent drug trafficking and the illegal trade in goods and people

--To manage disorderly crowds and incidents of unrest at public gatherings.

--To investigate crime and to gather all evidence required by the prosecuting authority to prosecute criminal cases.

--To gather, collate and analyse intelligence to generate reports that can be used to neutralize crime threats.

--To protect foreign and local prominent persons in order to prevent security breaches.

These objectives have been brought in line with the goals of the Integrated Justice System (IJS) and the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster, which is chaired by the Department and which coordinates joint crime prevention initiatives. The Cluster has prioritized strategic interventions under the following programmes:

--Development and Transformation of Cluster Departments


--Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence

--Organized Crime and Border Control

--Crime Prevention and Combating


--Coordination and Cooperation


The objectives of the SAPS are pursued through the following programmes:

--Administration, which provides for policy development and management of the Department, and includes provision for Capital Works and the medical benefits of SAPS members.

--Crime Prevention, which makes provision for the work of police stations nationally, and for specific functional services such as the Dog, Equestrian, Radio Control and Diving Units.

--Operational Response Services, which 3rovides for the policing of South Africa's borders, the specialized policing services associated with maintaining public order and crowd management, and the high-risk function performed by the Special Task Force.

--Detective Service and Crime Intelligence, which provides for the investigative and intelligence-related work of the SAPS. It also makes for provision for support to investigators in the form of training, forensic evidence, and the services of the Criminal Record Centre (CRC).

--Protection Services, which provides for the protection of foreign and local prominent persons.



Crime Prevention covers the functional services that police stations provide to institute safety and security. These services include the services provided by a range of specialized units. The sub-programmes in this programme are--

--Visible Policing, which provides for the activities of police stations; and

--Specialized Visible Policing, which relates to the specialized work of the Radio Control Units, the Dog Units, the Equestrian Units, the Diving Units and the 10111 Centres.

Policy Development

A policy guideline on partnership policing has been developed. The purpose of the policy guideline is to provide a uniform framework for managing partnerships between the SAPS (specifically at police stations) and communities to promote local crime prevention, police-community relations and good service delivery, and to make provision for procedures relating to the implementation and maintenance of these aspects. The intention of the policy is to ensure that partnerships are managed and implemented proactively, and that partnerships are outcomes driven.

Key outputs and service delivery trends

Although crime prevention is a complex concept, it can in general be defined as an attempt to stop a crime before or while it is being committed to prevent further criminal activities.

Crime prevention can also be regarded as a strategy to control crime in the sense that, if you do not prevent the occurrence of crime, you cannot eliminate the possibility that criminal activities will be carried out. Crime prevention, the detection and punishment of offenders, the protection of life and property and the preservation of public peace and order are not the responsibility of only the SAPS, but also of the public. The police and the public should therefore follow a joint partnership approach.

Police agencies over the world have realized that because of the complex and diverse nature of crime and because of their limited resources, they alone are not capable of implementing crime prevention strategies. The international trend in policing is for communities and other government agencies to become increasingly involved in crime prevention, representing a more holistic and effective approach.

Based on the above premise, the programme outputs ... were categorized into two broad outputs, namely visible crime deterrence and safety and security.

Safety and Security

Crime in South Africa


Categories of Crime

In this section of the 2002/2003 Annual Report of the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service an overview of the 20 most common serious crime trends in South Africa is presented. The focus falls on three broad categories, namely contact crimes (crimes against the person), property related and commercial crime, and crimes generated through police action....

Context of crime in South Africa

Crime does not occur in isolation in the RSA or any other country. Crime is associated with people and certain conducive factors and conditions exist which increase the chances of people becoming involved in crime Some specific explanations pertaining to different crimes are provided where possible The following factors should be seen as the background against which the incidence of crime in South Africa should be evaluated. Despite efforts to combat crime, these factors and conditions continue to expand and increase the probability of crime occurring. Decreases and stabilisations observed with with regard to most of the serious crime trends should be considered against the odds presented by the circumstances discussed below.


During the past two decades South Africa experienced extremely high levels of rapid urbanization--some experts believe the rate to be up to six times higher than that experienced in Brazil (this can also be described as compacted urbanization). Urbanization, which should have occurred naturally over a period of at least fifty years, has now occurred in 17 years since the lifting of influx control measures. The massive and rapid rate of urbanization is further compounded by the fact that South Africa's urban migration is not only fed from within the country's boundaries, but start far beyond the Limpopo river and Lebombo mountains. Estimates concerning the number of undocumented immigrants in South Africa range from four million (Department of Home Affairs) to eight million (academic circles). Even if the untested suspicion that undocumented immigrants are disproportionally contributing to South Africa's crime statistics is rejected and another extreme view accepted, namely that these people are mainly economic refugees who do not really contribute to local crime, their mere presence here increases South Africa's crime ratios (crimes per 100,000 of the population) by between 10-20% because their numbers (between 4 and 8 million) are not taken into account in the calculation of these ratios.

Universally, rapid and high levels of urbanization result in higher levels of urban unemployment which directly or indirectly generate or are conducive to the incidence of crime. Urban unemployment is usually worse than rural unemployment, which is often alleviated by the presence of subsistence economy. This may at least provide the basic food needed for survival (e.g. maize, meat, etc.), as well as an extended family/kinship network providing social, emotional and psychological support. For the new arrival in the city such a support system does not exist. Sometimes the family/kinship support network is replaced in the urban areas by the peer group system with its associated extravagant youthful lifestyle (based on e.g. music, alcohol, drugs, expensive clothing, fast cars and girlfriends) which may create more needs among unemployed youngsters.

All prolonged unemployment (especially urban unemployment) may result in family tensions, arguments and fights as well as a lack of the most basic commodities needed to survive, which may literally force people to steal for food (housebreaking and the category of stock-theft known as "pot slaughtering"). It may also cause increasing exploitation of children who cannot satisfy their basic needs or develop extravagantly expensive needs through their interaction with peer groups and may as a result become involved in prostitution, the drug trade and other criminal acts. The development of a weak or negative self-image--especially amongst breadwinners and men--because they cannot provide for the dependants is also a dominant feature. In reaction to this a male will in all probability develop the projection of a machoman image and lifestyle, which usually includes alcohol or drug misuse, association with friends following the same lifestyle, the use of violence and abuse to achieve aims and the perception of and attitude towards women as being "inferior" or "there to fulfil sexual needs".

The difference between rich and poor is always visible, but usually much more so in the urban setting than in rural surroundings. In the city even the blind will realise whether they find themselves in a ghetto or in a wealthy suburb (Alexandra and Sandton within view of each other presents and excellent example). Relative deprivation generates growing new needs and aspirations to a different lifestyle. To afford this people need substantial amounts of money, while they sometimes lack even the means to afford basic foodstuffs.

The rapid influx into the cities (especially the larger metropolitan areas) does not allow Government to keep up with the demand for low-cost housing. The result is that large squatter/informal settlements start to appear in open spaces on the periphery of the cities--and even in the backyards of existing housing schemes. It is extremely difficult to police such areas because there are usually no proper streets with streetlights or clear street blocks with easily identifiable addresses. Proper crime mapping is also very difficult or even impossible in these areas, which further inhibits crime prevention.

In addition, it is very difficult to safeguard shacks against housebreaking, other theft and even robberies, which make them easy targets for these crimes. The shacks erected by squatters are usually also small, while some people move into single room (bachelor) flats in the inner city. The result of this is often overcrowding and a situation in which adults and children are crowded together day and night. This is not a healthy condition for the socialization process of children. They experience adult behaviour like marital conflict and even sexual intercourse, which may impact negatively on their socialization. According to docket analysis of child rape cases it seems as if most children are raped by other children and that they may do this because they imitate adult sexual behaviour.


Because of a fear of crime and feelings of insecurity, some people may lose confidence in the official structures of law enforcement. This may cause them to start creating their own parallel structures to enforce safety and security. The result is a growth in the phenomenon of vigilante groups. Court records in various provinces reveal that hundreds of cases of assault GBH, common assault, attempted murder, malicious damage to property, arson and even a few murder cases can be linked to vigilante action. When vigilantes "arrest" somebody they do not bother with niceties like due process. For them the suspect is guilty and should be punished. During the "arrest" and punishment they will often assault the "suspect" and the result is usually the generation of the crimes mentioned above.


It is believed that the HIM infection level is very high in South Africa and that the country has moved into a phase during which increasing numbers of people are dying of either the disease itself or related illnesses. Most experts expect a rapid and large increase in mortality. This may already have become conducive to crime in that police officers and other officials serving the criminal justice system may also contract the disease and become demoralised and/or medically unfit to render a proper service. In addition, children are orphaned and one may increasingly find a situation in which children not only grow up with single parents, but with no parents at all or in equal age parent family units (where a brother or sister of a few years older looks after the younger children). This will of course affect the socialization of children and their future prospects.

There is a very strong perception that certain beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS and the cure or prevention thereof cause certain crime such as rape (especially child and granny rape) and bestiality (sexual intercourse with animals). Some people apparently believe that they can be cured or rid themselves of HIV/AIDS by having sexual intercourse with an uninfected person.

Conditions conducive to the growth of organised crime Most of the conditions conducive to the growth of organised crime also exist in South Africa, namely inter alia the following:

--The availability of resources attractive to organised criminals (e.g. abalone, diamonds, gold, ivory, rhino horn, luxury vehicles and drugs like cannabis).

--The existence of markets for contraband goods--especially illegal firearms and drugs.

--The porousness of borders and circumvention of controls at entry/exit points. South Africa can easily be entered and exited because of the physical nature of its borders.

--Opportunities for money laundering. Although the necessary legislation is in place, its successful application will take some time to become fully operational. Organised criminals cannot really operate without opportunities to launder their illegal loot.

--The very sophisticated and well-developed communication and transport network with its international links. Communication via the cyber-net and air travel to virtually all locations in the world are features of the modern South Africa which can also be exploited by criminals.
Framework for the National Crime Prevention Strategy

 Criminal Community Environmental Transnational
 Justice Values and Design Crime
 Process Education

 = = = =

Certain and Community Limit Opportun- Regional co-
 Rapid pressure and ities and operation,
Deterrence public participa- Maximise stability and
 tion in crime Constraints address cross-
 prevention border crime

 Crime Levels

* This section draws in part on Rauch, J, The 1996 National Crime Prevention Strategy, Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation,

# The assistance of and valuable comments made by Assistant Commissioner F J Burger, Head: Operational Coordination, SA Police Service, in this respect is gratefully acknowledged.

& Selected excerpts.

** Selected excerpts.
COPYRIGHT 2003 University of Pretoria, Institute for Strategic Studies
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Institute for Strategic Studies
Article Type:Topic Overview
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Previous Article:Preface.
Next Article:Part two: official views.

Related Articles
New US Afghan policy may see surge in diplomatic appointments in Kabul.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters