Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has confirmed that 88% of sexual offences have been reported to the police, in their data for Governance, Public Safety and Justice Survey (GPSJS) 2018/19 report.
What is the difference between SAPS stats vs Stats SA?
The data used a narrower definition of sexual offences and based the findings on instances of intentional sexual violations that are done through grabbing, touching, rape and sexual assault.
The South African Police Services uses a much broader definition of sexual offences to base their findings and it also includes attempted sexual offences, so there is a gap perceived between the (GPSJS) 2018/19 report and the 2018/19 crime statistics.
The category of sexual offences in the SAPS 2018/2019 crime statistics include rape, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, and contact sexual assault. It is recorded that 41 583 cases of rape have been reported; which leads to a 3,9% increase that proves to be the highest since 2016.
What does this mean for sexual offences data?
GPSJS has noted that their sexual offences data is observed as “underreported”, given the sensitivity of the nature of these crimes, as most individuals who have reported the sexual offence to the police will continue and report it to the survey officer collating the data.
“The number of sexual offences incidents in the sample was not large enough to be able to produce quality estimates of key indicators, except for the percentage of victims who reported to the police.”
Statistics South Africa
The data further shows that since the number of sexual offence victim’s reports the crime to the police, the SAPS statistics must be more accurate due to the prevalence of sexual offences in South Africa, compared to the data collated in Stats SA.
Stats SA confirms SAPS stats must be more accurate due to the prevalence of sexual offences
In Stats SA data, there is an increase of 4,6% in sexual offences reported to the police, and sexual offences are reported to have decreased in the Western Cape and Limpopo despite its increase in other provinces.
In the SAPS crime statistics, the rape category data proves that there are 1 1861 reported cases of rape, against women between the ages of 20 to 29; and between the ages of 30 to 39, a shocking number of 7 658 cases of rape are recorded.
The Gauteng province is prominent for sexual offences as there are 8 417 incidents of rape; Kwa-Zulu Natal follows with 7 667 recorded incidents, and the Eastern Cape comes in with 7 304 recorded incidents of rape.