South Africa has not had a formal national policy to improve public safety since 2004. This changed in 2016 when cabinet adopted the White Paper on Safety and Security. This is the government’s flagship policy on crime, safety and violence prevention. However, implementation is the key challenge. The White Paper on Safety and Security provides an opportunity for the government-in-waiting to take safety seriously, and to unite the civil service to end the country’s endemic crime and violence. Without implementation from the top, South Africa’s incoherent and criminal justice-heavy approach to crime will likely continue – with limited impact on the lives of its people.
Police work exposes one to the underbelly of society. Most South African Police Service (SAPS) officers will experience and possibly perpetrate violence long before they enter the service. Many probably continue to experience and use violence outside of work while employed as SAPS officers. Based on available data, SAPS officers are more likely to kill themselves than be killed on duty. It is not the SAPS that has set them up for this fate, but South Africa as a whole and the all-too-familiar but often unrecognised story about South African masculinity, violence and mental health played out in the context of policing.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa used his State of the Nation Address on February 7 to outline his relatively new government’s actions and plans. However, the crime prevention strategies he outlined were somewhat stale. Most, especially those related to policing and gender-based violence, have been tried before. They yielded few positive results and there is no evidence to suggest that they’ll work any better now.
Social cohesion has frequently been used in government policy documents in South Africa since the late-1990s. Be that as it may, there have been very few detailed analyses of the direct and indirect linkages between social cohesion and violence. That said, in the South African literature on collective violence, particularly those publications relating to vigilantism, violent community protests, and xenophobic violence, research findings have broadly implied that shared community grievances and prejudices about wellbeing, inadequate government services, and the erosion of social control may have contributed to social cohesion with the creation of specific activist groups and social movements.
As we celebrate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, it is important to acknowledge that entrenched gender norms in South Africa create an environment in which gender-based violence is acceptable, and even worse, normalised. They inhibit effective implementation of laws intended to address violence against women and girls. It is therefore ever more important to engage adolescent boys and young men in the promotion of gender-equitable attitudes and norms, and influence their behaviours positively.
As we lead into the 2019 National elections, we can expect to see an increase in political assassinations. This piece discusses some key observations from the data collected from the Assassination Witness project.
South African cities need to invest in public spaces that are truly co-created through social engineering processes. These need to be grounded in quality community participation processes which begin at the conception of the project, carries on when the project is handed over, and continues in different ways to ensure ownership and positive social activation of these spaces.
This article will provide a summary of the successful workshop titled “Cross-Pollination event: A knowledge exchange that is shared amongst communities” that was organised by the Community Intervention team with the support from the Knowledge and Learning team.
The changes proposed in the Refugees Amendment Bill are arguably an attempt to narrow the content and scope of refugee protection in South Africa and, in some respect, limit the rights afforded to asylum seekers and refugees. This piece discusses why the Refugees Amendment Act is so terrible and what effect will it have.
State capture at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has led to the dysfunction of the commuter rail system. PRASA employs approximately 434 security personnel in the Western Cape. However, there are huge problems with these security contractors.The terrible legacy of those that engaged in State Capture will take years to undo. Commuters need to see improvements. A lot needs to be done regarding safety and security in trains.