n Acta Criminologica: African Journal of Criminology & Victimology - Making rural areas safer : potential benefits of the rural safety plan

Volume 31 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1012-8093


Evaluating the implementation of the Rural Safety Plan (RSP) in the Cacadu District Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, was the focus of this study. The research was conducted in two criminal justice policing clusters, namely Graaff-Reinet and Grahamstown, because Grahamstown has the highest volume of crime and Graaff-Reinet the lowest. A qualitative explorative research design was implemented, and the data collected through one-on-one and focus group interviews. Thirty South African Police Service (SAPS) participants, including 12 station commanders, 12 visible policing commanders and six Rural Safety co-ordinators were interviewed. Six farmers’ associations and six residents’ association focus groups from Graaff-Reinet and the Grahamstown clusters participated in the research study. The farmers’ and residents’ associations were made up of six to ten participants per focus group interview. Non-probability sampling in the form of purposive sampling was used to select the participants. This study, according to the SAPS participants, revealed that the Rural Safety Plan, in those areas, was not properly implemented as it, together with sector policing, was not adequately explained to the rural communities with little interaction between the SAPS and the communities in the Graaff-Reinet/Grahamstown clusters. The suggested recommendations include increased accountability by SAPS participants to the Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner’s office and to the Cacadu rural communities through accountability meetings, consultation with the Cacadu communities, as well as improved co-operation between the police and the communities. Furthermore, a needs analysis must be conducted, which should preferably include human and physical resources connected to the Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner’s office.

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