Cheryl Kahla
Audience and Content Strategist
2 minute read
4 Jun 2022
1:06 pm

LISTEN: Violent crimes increase on a yearly basis in South Africa – Crime stats analysis

Cheryl Kahla

Despite the short respite during lockdown in 2020, SA is now returning to high pre-pandemic crime trends.

Murder increased by 22.2% and attempted murder by 24.8%. Photo: iStock

The quarterly crime statistics released by Police Minister Bheki Cele this week confirm what we’ve known all along, South Africa is a hornet’s nest of murder, rape and other violent crimes.

The latest reports highlight a sharp increase in murders, rapes, and cash-in-transit heists, among others, from January to March 2022.

Crime stats at a glance

Murder, rape, and CIT heists increased

The first three months of 2022 have been marred with shocking levels of rape, assault and murder. Cele’s crime stats presentation can be viewed below.

When compared to the previous quarter, murder increased by 22.2% and attempted murder by 24.8%.

Rape increased by 13.7%, attempted sexual offences soared by 26.3%, and carjacking went from 4,513 during the same period in 2021, to 5,402 between January and March this year.

Arson, malicious damage to property, bank robberies, burglary at residential premises, motor vehicle theft, stock theft, commercial crime, and sexual offences as a result of police action also spiked.


The only improvements were seen in the following categories:

  • Shoplifting: down by 11.3%
  • Drug-related crimes: down by 17.7%
  • Contact sexual offences: Down by 1.1%
  • Robbery residential premises: down by 0.4%
  • Burglary at non-residential premises: down by 6.4%
  • Robbery at non-residential premises: down by 3.5%
  • Illegal possession of firearms and ammunition: down by 11.2%
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs: down by 39.7%

Year-on-year increase

Speaking to Radio 702’s John Perlman, independent crime analyst Dr Johan Burger said serious and violent crimes have been increasing on a year-on-year basis.

Despite the short respite during the hard lockdown in 2020, South Africa is now once again returning to high pre-pandemic crime trends.

On the plus side, he said experts are now involved and invited to participate in strategic planning sessions, which would assist in combatting crime.

ALSO READ: ‘All of SA is a crime scene’: Outrage over latest crime stats

CIT heists

With Cash-in-Transit (CIT) heists increasing by 26.2%, Dr Burger said long-term solutions are needed.

In the past, police, CIT industries, and banking industries agreed on shared responsibility and apportioned information, intelligence and resources.

“They were able to predict times and places where CIT robberies would occur. They could ambush those robberies and we saw a huge decline”.

Meanwhile, police visibility in Diepsloot helped to decrease violent killings and crime in the region.