Safety and security

national context in safety and security image

● The budget for Defence and Public Security increased, from R181 billion in 2016/17, to R198 billion in
2017/18. Almost half (47%) of this budget is allocated to police services.
● The Department of Correctional Services’ budget increased from R21 billion in 2016/17, to R22 billion
in 2017/18.
● Based on World Prison Brief data, as at March 2016, South Africa had a total of 161 984 prisoners
(including pre-trial detainees, who formed 28% of the prison population).
● According to the latest South African Police Service report, titled Crime Situation in South Africa,
serious crimes increased by 0.12%, to 2 129 001 in the 2016/17 financial year. Crime detected as a
result of police action increased the most (9.6%), from 355 926 in 2015/16 to 390 021 in 2016/17,
while contact-related crimes decreased the most (-3.3%), from 124 804 to 120 730 crimes in the same
period. Murder statistics reached its highest rate in 10 years, at 19 016 murders.
The Service Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa, 2004
Also referred to as the Victims’ Charter, this informs the latest policy on safety and security, but is unique
in that it specifically focuses on victims of crime, promoting justice and specifying rights and services
available to them. It is compliant with the spirit of the South African Constitution, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996)
and the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power,
and can be traced back to the 1996 National Crime Prevention Strategy.
Rural Safety Strategy, 2010
The rural community faces specific challenges, including increased farm attacks and murders, high levels
of poverty and underdevelopment, dispersed spatial living, as well as isolated and under-resourced police
stations. This strategy provides guidelines to achieve safety and security within the rural environment,
where all inhabitants can prosper and live without fear. It specifically applies the principles of sector
policing and relies on cooperation between community members and the police.
White Paper on Safety and Security, 2016
This policy aims to promote an integrated and holistic approach to safety and security, and to provide
direction for achieving the National Development Plan’s objectives of building safer communities. It is
informed by the previous White Paper, published in 1998, as well as various crime prevention and safety
strategies, such as the 2011 Integrated Social Crime Prevention Strategy and the 2011 Community Safety
Forums Policy. It affirms the need for civil society and the private sector to contribute to government’s
ongoing safety, crime and violence prevention efforts.
● Substantial funding in this sector goes towards alleviating violent crimes. Because the incidence of
such crimes is high, other threats to safety and security may be overlooked. Funders should consider
the effects of non-violent crimes, such as substance abuse.
● Since violent and gender-based crimes usually pose long-term medical and social challenges to
those affected, a holistic approach that seeks cooperation of all relevant stakeholders should be
adopted. These stakeholders can then leverage their expertise and resources to combat crime.
Funders can consider interventions that engage government structures, NPOs and businesses that
are actively involved in tackling crime.
● Successful programmes in this sector ensure that people feel safe in their communities. When
donating funds, it is imperative for programmes to address key social risks that affect communities.
● More funds should be geared towards supporting victims of crime and violence, and rehabilitating
past offenders to help integrate them back into society.