Local residents and children in Ubuntu Park, Soweto

Building safer communities in South Africa is a collective responsibility of both the state and its citizens. It requires an integrated approach that brings together government, civil society, academia and business. And it needs to be informed by a sound knowledge base.

SaferSpaces is an online knowledge sharing and networking portal for community safety as well as violence and crime prevention practitioners from government, civil society and the research community in South Africa. The portal focuses on preventative approaches as long-term, sustainable solutions to violence and crime.

SaferSpaces aims to become:

  1. South Africa's key knowlege hub for finding and publishing knowledge resources, good practices, events as well as thematic information on a wide spectrum of topics related to community safety as well as violence and crime prevention;
  2. A central online knowledge sharing and networking space for practitioners from government, civil society and academia working towards community safety and violence and crime prevention in South Africa to showcase their work, share their knowledge resources, announce events, connect with and learn from each other; and
  3. An effective support to the South African community safety and violence and crime prevention agenda, informing on and supporting safety-related processes, developments and events.

For an overview of what's inside SaferSpaces, visit the page: 'What does SaferSpaces offer?'.

Why was it developed?

Over two decades into democracy, South Africa still faces serious challenges with regards to violence and crime. Reducing this kind of violence is impossible for the police or any single actor to achieve alone. It requires a collaborative, integrated approach that focuses on the prevention of violence and crime.

Such an integrated approach needs to build on a solid knowledge and evidence base to inform violence prevention efforts. Creating such a knowledge base depends on the generation and sharing of knoweldge both within government as well as with and between civil society actors.

Join SaferSpaces

As a community safety practitioner, register and join the SaferSpaces community. Let's work together for a South Africa where all people feel and are safe.

Find out more here

Across the country, there are actors doing remarkable work to develop communities in ways that directly and indirectly make them safer:

  • NGOs implementing drug and alcohol abuse awareness and rehabilitation programmes, or parenting programmes;
  • volunteers teaching young people life skills through sports in townships;
  • community-based organisations providing early childhood development services in informal settlements;
  • municipalities upgrading open spaces and creating vibrant parks and recreational facilities; and
  • businesses investing in local community-based development projects.

However, what has been missing is a central platform for the actors to make their knowledge availabe and share it with others.

SaferSpaces offers a centrally accessibly online hub for finding relevant safety-related information; for sharing knowledge related to violence prevention and community safety; and for networking amongst practitioners.

Who developed it?

SaferSpaces was launched in mid-2014 by the Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme (VCP), a joint South African-German initiative implemented by GIZ and its South African partners as part of German Development Cooperation with South Africa. In March 2017, VCP and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the handover of the site management to the department.

The responsibility for managing SaferSpaces has been assumed by the CSPS in May 2017, in particular for (but not limited to) supporting the implementation of the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security (WPSS). The WPSS advocates for an integrated approach to violence and crime prevention informed by a solid knowledge and evidence-base as well as civil society partnerships.

SaferSpaces aims to be a dynamic online hub to facilitate cross-sectoral collecting and sharing of knowledge as well as public outreach and consultation – all with the aim of informing an integrated, collaborative approach towards preventing violence and crime.