Fewer people getting murdered in South Africa – but criminals haven’t stopped trying

 ·17 Nov 2023

Police minister Bheki Cele has presented the latest crime statistics for South Africa, covering the second quarter of the 2023/24 administrative year, which runs from July to September 2023.

The latest stats show a slightly more positive turn for reported crime in the country, although total numbers are up due to increased police action.

There is also a more positive year-on-year move for murder, where the category saw a slight decline of 0.8% in reported cases.

However, murder numbers remain exceptionally high in general, with South Africans racking up another kill count of 6,945 murders in the quarter – up quite significantly from the 6,228 murders recorded in the first quarter of the year (April-June).

Of all the broad crime categories, contact crimes were the only one to increase. Contact crimes include the most violent crimes in the country, like murder, attempted murder, assault and sexual assault.

While South Africans managed to murder fewer people than in the same period in 2022, they didn’t stop trying, with attempted murders shooting up 12.3% over the quarter.

Robberies and assaults also climbed higher.

In terms of non-contact crimes, there was another rise in commercial crime in the country, while shoplifting also spiked – likely a sign of the challenging economic conditions in which most South Africans find themselves.

On the more positive side, theft of all kinds was down over the quarter, while sexual offences were also down.

SA crime stats: Q2 2022/23 vs Q2 2023/24

  • Contact crimes include violent crimes like murder, attempted murder and sexual offences, as well as common assault and robbery.
  • Contact-related crimes include arson and malicious injury to property.
  • Other serious crimes include commercial crime, shop-lifting, and other types of theft – while aggravated robbery includes hijackings, robbery at residences, and cash-in-transit heists and bank robberies.
  • Crimes detected as a result of police action cover crimes discovered by active policing, such as roadblocks and raids. This category covers the illegal possession of firearms, DUI or driving under the influence (of drugs or alcohol), and the use, possession or trade of illegal drugs.

Biggest increases in crime categories for Q1 2023/24

Show comments
Subscribe to our daily newsletter