South African president vows to reduce crime by half in decade

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CAPE TOWN –South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday called for concerted efforts nationwide to reduce the violent crime in the country at least by half in the next decade.

"Let us therefore work together to ensure that violent crime is at least halved over the next decade," he said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament since his re-election in May, noting that the social problem demands a nationwide response.

In South Africa, official statistics showed that between April 2017 and April 2018, crime cases against individuals topped 1.6 million, up 5 percent from the previous year.

In efforts to reduce crime, Ramaphosa said his government will beef up the police force through more recruitments, including increasing the student enrollment in police training colleges, introduce increased citizen participation in efforts against violent crime, and improve success rates in investigating and prosecuting crimes.

Meanwhile, "We are working with civil society organizations on strategies to end gender-based violence and femicide," said the South African president, citing the work underway to build Gender-Based Violence and Femicide Council and a national strategic plan to guide related efforts. According to Ramaphosa, the South African government is also stepping up the fight against drug syndicates.

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