|November 1, 2017 -- South African Members of Parliament (MPs) on Tuesday voiced concern over an increase in the murder rate, saying the society must find ways to deal with it head-on.
The increase in the murder rate is "totally unacceptable," Chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police Francois Beukman said.
"When communities do not feel safe and live in fear, the country's economic development and the people's well-being are affected," Beukman said in response to crime statistics released last week by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
South Africa has seen a rise in violent crimes in the 2016/2017 financial year, with murders up 1.8 percent, Mbalula said while presenting crime statistics to the Portfolio Committee on Police.
According to the figures, 19,016 murders were recorded in 2016/2017.
"The solutions to the high murder rate will not be found in our rules of criminal procedure or laws regulating immigration. The recipe to addressing the problem lies in a partnership among all social structures to build a better life for ourselves and cooperation with our neighbours," Beukman said.
To deal with crime and violence, a partnership between police and communities remains central, he added.
The fight against crime and the high murder rate require a re-focus by the South African Police Service (SAPS) on crime prevention, detection and crime intelligence that will contribute to the reduction of the murder rate, Beukman said.