Press Release | Stock Theft Data – December 2020

See here the Stock Theft Prevention Forum’s Report on Stock Theft Data for 2021:

Stock Theft Dec 2020

Veediefstal Des 2020

(for immediate release)

During the presentation of crime statistics on 13 November 2020 for the first time the Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele acknowledged that livestock theft is a serious crime. This is applauded by the National Stock Theft Prevention Forum. The crime does have a R1.4 billion economic impact on agriculture and every case reported is one too many. The National Stock Theft Prevention Forum (NSTPF) will always consider livestock theft as serious – irrespective of increases or decreases in the number of cases reported. It does have a serious impact emotionally and economically on livestock owners – therefore the current picture is shared.
“One Picture Is Worth Ten Thousand Words” being a Chinese Proverb and first used by an advertising executive, Fred R. Barnard in 1921, meaning a graphic illustration conveys a stronger message than words. Therefore, livestock theft information is provided in the figures below. As the year-to-year cases differ significantly, it was decided to view the increases and decreases compared to a five-year average. Important to mention is that the number of cases reported to the SAPS include cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, game and poultry. All these cases are referred to below. The NSTPF only focuses on cattle, sheep and goats.
The first Quarter of 2020/21 is illustrated in Figure 1 below. Six provinces experienced increases with the Western Cape Province, Northern Cape and Eastern Cape the leaders. Comparing these three provinces with one another is dangerous as the number of cases in the provinces differ extremely.

The Western Cape had 41 more cases whilst the Eastern Cape had 26 more cases than the average over five years 2016/17 to 2020/21. The provinces with decreases are North West -11%, Mpumalanga -18% and Free State -16% compared to the five-year average over the same period.
Figure 1 Livestock Theft Increase/Decrease compared to the 5-year average per province from April to June 2020
Figure 2 illustrates the livestock theft increase or decrease compared to the five-year average per province from July to September 2020/21. Contrary to Figure 1 only one province had a significant increase compared to the other provinces of which most had a significant decrease in the number of cases. As in Figure 1, North West -12%, Mpumalanga -12% and Free State -13% compared to the five-year average over the same period had significant decreases.
Figure 2 Livestock Theft Increase/Decrease compared to 5-year average per province July to September 2020
Livestock theft in the 3rd Quarter of 2020 is illustrated in Figure 3 below with the exception of Gauteng with a 5% increase, all the provinces had decreases with North West a 19% decrease.

Figure 3 Livestock Theft Increase/Decrease compared to the 5 years average per province October to December 2020
Figure 4 which compares the same information over a period of six months from April to December 2020 endorses the findings in figures 1, 2 and 3 above.

Figure 4 Livestock Theft Increase/Decrease compared to the 5 year average April to December 2020
Figure 5 below provides a picture of the tendency of the year April to December 2019 with the tendency over the same period April to September 2020. Three provinces Northern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and Eastern Cape demonstrate a constant increase in livestock theft. Western Cape, North West, Mpumalanga, and Gauteng have contrary results with an increase over the year but decreases over the six months. North West and Free State do have a decrease over both the comparative periods.

Figure 5 A Comparison of the increase decrease of the months April to December 2020 with the same period in 2019
As mentioned above the figures are a picture that says a lot as to what happens in what provinces on a national level. Livestock theft has decreased by 7% over the period.

Since the hotspot stations in South Africa are known, six police stations in the Eastern Cape have never been toppled from the top 10 namely, Sulenkama, Qumbo, Umtata, Mount Frere, Bityi and Tsolo. In Kwazulu-Natal, two are persistent namely Taylors Halt and Utrecht and are always in the top list. The Free state normally has a couple of stations in the top 30 with Seloshesha and others that change ranks such as Harrismith and Vrede. In North West, Taung shoots out and is normally in the top list of stations. Occasionally, Ventersdorp does appear in the top 30 stations.
The NSTPF for many years reported on the non-reporting of livestock theft cases as indicated in table 1 below. The increase in non-reporting is apparent. Since 2019 the Victims of Crime Survey published by Statistics South Africa, does not publish these percentages anymore. It needs to be noted that the NSTPF adopted an approach of “If you do not report a crime, you are equally as guilty as the person who committed the crime”. The reason for this approach is that a crime not reported, is only to the advantage of the criminal as you cannot be found guilty of a crime not reported.

Table 1: Non-Reporting of Livestock Theft Cases in South Africa
Percentage Non-Reporting

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DATE : 2 March 2021
Mr Willie Clack Mr Gerhard Schutte
Chairman CEO
National Stock Theft Prevention Forum Red Meat Producers’ Organisation
Cell: +27 82 574 2653 Cell: +27 82 556 7296
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