On Friday 3 March 2017 the South African Police Service (SAPS) briefed the Portfolio Committee on Police on the National Crime Statistics for April to December 2016. In June 2016 the government announced that crime statistics will henceforth be released quarterly, because the “need for frequent statistics will better enable government decision-making to address issues from crime trends”.
Contact crimes refer to those "crimes where victims themselves are the targets of violence or property is targeted and the victims in the vicinity during the commission of the crime are subjected to threats of violence or the use of violence." These crimes include murder, attempted murder and sexual assault.
There are 14 333 murders recorded for April to December 2016, down 0.1% compared to the same period in 2016. The murder rate has decreased from 26.1 to 25.6 per 100 000 people.
The police recorded a total of 30 069 rapes between April and December 2016, down 6.5% for the same period the previous year. The rape rate decreased from 58.5 to 53.8 per 100 000 people and between April and December 2016, an average of 109 rapes were reported to the police each day in South Africa.
Other important stats to note:
All contact crimes decreased except robbery with aggravating circumstances which increased by 6.1%
Slight decrease recorded in the murder rate (-0.1%), although increases detected in Mpumalanga (+6.8%), Gauteng (+3.7%) and KZN (+1.7%) and the Western Cape (+0.7%)
Most rapes occurred in Gauteng (20%), KZN (18%) and Eastern Cape (17%)
Drug-related offences are the most common crimes (74%) detected as a result of police action.
See infographic below for more on the 2016 crime statistics: