Safety and Security: National Context

  • The Peace and Security budget increased by 5%, from R200 billion in 2018/19 to R211 billion in 2019/20. Police services received nearly half (R104 billion) of the total budget.

  • There are more than 2.3 million security officers registered in South Africa according to the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) 2018/19 annual report, 498 435 of whom are employed by just over 9 000 registered and active security businesses. In comparison, the South African Police Service had 193 297 members according to its 2018/19 annual report.

  • According to A longitudinal perspective on violence in the lives of South African children from Birth to Twenty Plus cohort study in Johannesburg–Soweto, two-thirds of children of school-going age reported having been exposed to community violence. The figure rises in adolescence and young adulthood.

  • A 2018 Stats SA report titled Crime Against Women in South Africa found that 3 000 women – or one every three hours – was murdered in South Africa. This is five times higher than the global average, according to the World Health Organisation.

Guidelines for Effective Funding in Safety and Security

  • 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.

National Directives for Safety and Security

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.