- Police Minister Bheki Cele said the slight decrease in crime this year was a sign of progress, however, there was still more to do.
- He said there was a 2.7% decrease in crime from last year.
- In the Western Cape, statistics did not see a huge difference, however, Cele said it was a lot of work to keep the number stable.
Police Minister Bheki Cele says progress is being made in fighting crime across South Africa, with the Western Cape stabilising after the deployment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), saying more needs to be done.
Cele was speaking at the release of the annual crime statistics on Friday, saying there was a 2.7% decrease in crime from last year.
He said while this was a small percentage, "the fact that we have moved" was progress.
"We are not there but we are in the right direction - that would be my evaluation".
Cele added the past two financial years had seen an increase in crime.
"We had to do something to stabilise it".
He used the example of the Western Cape, saying while there was not a reduction in crime, keeping it stable was hard work.
Cele said this spoke to how "huge the rot was" and now that it has been stabilised, it could be in a position to decrease.
Deployment of SANDF to Western Cape
National police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said the deployment of the SANDF from July 2019 to March 2020 had helped stabilise the province's increasing crime rate.
"I think there is a tremendous impact which has been made by the deployments coming out of the stats," Sitole added.
"First, the stabilisation interventions [where] we deployed more than 300 additional forces from other provinces to support the Western Cape together with the defence [already there], and that has assisted us to stabilise the Western Cape.
"I think the Western Cape is going to [normalise]," he said.
Sitole added there were, however, several hotspots with specific crimes that were challenging, like heists.
"We managed to climb them down through the deployments because we followed the stabilisation and normalisation.
"There are some crimes where we have achieved a considerable decrease and that is dedicated to the deployments and we will continue to do the so-called strategic deployment of these resources and they will go towards where the crimes are, following a geographical approach," he said.