16 Days Of Discontent: Day 13 – The SAPS and the Domestic Violence Act

Today’s focus is on the implementation of the 1998 Domestic Violence Act by the South African Police Service (SAPS). Sixteen years after it came into operation in 1999 we examine how well the SAPS has done in upholding the duties imposed upon them by the DVA.

picture of a man threatening a womanThe SAPS’ implementation of the DVA over the years has been unimpressive. However, there is evidence of consistent steps being taken since 2013 by particular divisions within the SAPS’ national office, as well as in the Western Cape, to improve the police response to domestic violence. Information that was either not available, or only erratically reported, is now becoming routinely available. And while this shows that the execution of the DVA at station-level is not always what it should be, this data demonstrates a willingness to make problems visible, rather than keeping them concealed.

The National and Western Cape SAPS scores: 7/10
The remaining eight provincial offices score: 3/10

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