Preventing Violence in South Africa: From policy making to evidence-based implementation

Preventing Violence in South Africa: From policy making to evidence-based implementation – Events


In the past years there has been significant progress in shifting ‘prevention’ to a more prominent place on the public agenda when discussing the South Africa’s response to high rates of violence and crime. This shift needs to be further encouraged as at the same time the strengthening of the criminal justice system and policing remain strongly present in the political debate. Hence, preventative approaches have to continue to demonstrate that time and money invested produce the result of safer South African communities. This way it can be advocated for a strong narrative on the evidence and cost-benefit ratio of prevention.

Join the discussion at the “Preventing Violence in South Africa: From policy making to evidence-based implementation” virtual conference. In a series of webinars on the 7th and 8th of June, we will draw from the existing evidence, experience and expertise of the civil society, academia and government sector in the prevention of violence and discuss how this can be utilized for the evidence-based implementation of the most relevant South African safety policy framework, the White Paper on Safety and Security, the Integrated Crime and Violence Prevention Strategy, and the National Strategic Plan on Gender-based Violence and Femicide.

The two-day online conference will reflect on the prospects of effective implementation of relevant evidence-based violence prevention interventions in South Africa. In this regard, the conference will consist of intersecting webinars each on a key topic of violence and crime prevention:

First day: 7 June 2021

10:00 - 12:00 Session 1: Turning evidence into policies and policies into evidence-based implementation

In this session we will interrogate the questions of how policy making in the violence and crime prevention sector in South Africa is influenced by evidence; how the resulting policy frameworks can be implemented efficiently and effectively; and what role evidence-based approaches play.


  • Matodzi Amisi, Centre of Learning on Evaluation and Results, Wits University: Introduction to evidence-based approaches.
  • Lizette Lancaster, Institute for Security Studies: The role of (dis)aggregated data for policy making and implementation.
  • Shanaaz Matthews, Children’s Institute: inputs on implementation science.
  • Lillian Mashele, Civilian Secretariat for Police: Evidence in policy making for violence prevention.

Moderator: Dr Guy Lamb, Safety and Violence Initiative, UCT

Register here.

12:30 - 14:15 Session 2: The role of police in violence prevention: harnessing the synergies

This session aims to understand how the 2016 White Paper on Policing and the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security interact; determine the real contribution police can make to security and a post-crime response of the criminal justice system; as well as discuss the potential of the police to play an active role in the prevention of violence and crime in South African communities.


  • Andrew Faull, Institute for Security Studies: Evidence-based policing
  • Jean Redpath, University of the Western Cape: Equitable distribution of police resources
  • Major General Oswald Reddy, SAPS Garden Route District – Eden Cluster Commander: Safety initiatives from SAPS

Moderator: Dr Guy Lamb, Safety and Violence Initiative, UCT

Register here.

14:30 - 16:30 Session 3: Preventing Violence through the Promotion of Gender Equality

In this session we want to ask the question of what needs to be done to prevent the experience or perpetration of violence based on a person’s gender. Specifically, we will discuss the approach of gender-transformative interventions.


  • Rumbi Chidoori, Sonke Gender Justice: The impact of harmful gender norms on GBVF and violence in general
  • Luxolo Matomela, GIZ-Partnerships for the Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls in Southern Africa: Gender norms in media and the influence on GBVF
  • Laura Washington and Sivuyile Khaula, Project Empower: Gender-transformative approaches and the Stepping Stones and Creating Futures approach
  • Esther Maluleke, Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities: The integration of gender-transformative approaches in the NSP GBVF

Moderator: Franziska Frische, GIZ South Africa

Register here.

Second Day: 8 June 2021

09:00 - 11:00 Session 4: Building resilient communities: Public infrastructure and environmental design for prevention

South Africa’s spatial and socio-economic characteristics and the country’s history of forced segregation have resulted in a distinct relationship between crime and the physical location and environment. In this session we discuss area-based violence prevention interventions and how they target the specific conditions and demands of a certain community. How exactly can we make them work and sustain the impact? What are the core lessons learned of the South African violence prevention sector in regard to area-based approaches? And what needs to be done to scale-up successful approaches? 


  • Tinus Kruger, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: The influence of the physical environment on community safety
  • Michael Krause, Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading:  How to effectively design area-based approaches in violence prevention
  • Siphelele Ngobese, South African Cities Network: Integrated public service delivery for safety

Moderator: Thomas Hellman, GIZ South Africa 

Register here.

11:30 - 13.30 Session 5: Growing up in South Africa: Safety in Childhood and young adulthood

In this session we discuss the role of safety in the early life of South Africans, and how the prosperous development of a young generation of South Africans can be achieved to form an inclusive and safe society with equal opportunities for everyone to thrive.


  • Keletso Kgalema, Ambassador of the National Youth Resilience Initiative: Youth violence and resilience
  • Katharine Frost, South African Parenting Programme Implementer's Network (SAPPIN): Evidence of positive parenting and possibilities to upscale successful interventions
  • Deevia Bhana, University of KwaZulu Natal: Safety in schools
  • Andisiwe Mbelekane, Masifunde: The role of young people advocating for safety

Moderator: Lauren October, Safety and Violence Initiative, UCT

Register here

14:00 - 16:00 Session 6: How do we implement a whole of society approach?

At the end of the conference, we will discuss how an intersectoral approach to violence and crime prevention in South Africa can succeed by combining resources, harnessing knowledge and experience, sharing responsibilities and coordinating activities collectively. What concrete ways can enable cooperation between all levels and sectors of government, civil society, academia, private sector as well as the South African citizens themselves to work together for safer communities in South Africa?


  • Joint presentation: Diketso Mufamadi, Institute for Security Studies and Tshepiso Machabaphala, Department of Health: The Violence Prevention Forum and how to make multi-stakeholder collaborations work
  • Mothupi Mafologela, Civilian Secretariat for Police Services: The government approach to a whole-of-society approach
  • Guy Lamb, Safety and Violence Initiative: The academic contribution to violence prevention in South Africa

Moderator: Melanie Lue Dugmore, Independent Consultant

Register here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Please join us for the discussion and register for the sessions you are interested in!