With a firearm being used to commit four out of every 10 murders in South Africa‚ the ANC caucus in Parliament wants an intensified fight against the possession of illegal guns.
The ruling party's chief whip Jackson Mthembu said the upward trajectory in the murder rate‚ which has increased by 6.9%‚ is a matter of grave concern.
The police #crimestats report states that firearms (41%) and knives (31%) are the key instruments used to commit murder.
"This demands firmer regulation in the acquisition of firearms and other harmful instruments‚" said Mthembu.
He also welcomed the announcement by minister of police Bheki Cele that a separate unit would be established to deal with cases of gender based violence‚ which continue to show "a worrying increase".
Mthembu said: "The statistics reflect an alarming 8.2% increase in cases of sexual assault and a 0.5% increase in rape cases. We must therefore implement alternative policing measures where sexual assault cases are concerned."
He noted a decrease in crimes such as common robbery by 5% and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (Assault GBH) by 1.9%. Robbery with aggravating circumstances also decreased by 1.8%.
"The crime statistics also show that our police service remains alert in the detection of crime. Crime detected as a result of police action increased by 11.3%. We commend the men and women in blue for these positive strides they have made in ensuring they push back the frontiers of crime in this regard.
"Our fight against crime requires action by all South Africans. The role of communities in crime-fighting cannot be overemphasized because stolen and hijacked goods are often traded in our communities. As communities‚ we must ensure that crimes are reported and that necessary assistance is provided in order for SAPS to carry out their work."