n Servamus Community-based Safety and Security Magazine - The progressive and persistent nature of livestock theft

Volume 113 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1015-2385


Although the occurrence of livestock theft is nothing new to the world, the nature of this crime is ever-evolving. Whether stealing for survival purposes or for personal profit, historically livestock theft has always been part of life (Clack, 2014). There is no denying that livestock theft is a persistent and debilitating crime. According to the crime statistics released for the SAPS for the 2018/2019 financial year, approximately R1.24 billion worth of livestock was stolen (Van der Walt, 2019). Statistics further reveals an 18.7% increase in reported livestock cases from 2015 to 2019 (Crime Stats SA, 2019). This is only the tip of the iceberg: Clack (2018) reveals that many livestock theft cases are not reported to the police, which results in a distorted picture of the true extent of this crime. Perceptions need to change and a more active approach should be taken to stint the scourge of livestock theft. This article attempts to shed light once again on the progressive and persistent nature of livestock theft by briefly outlining a few facets of this crime.

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