Police Minister Bheki Cele released the latest crime statistics on Friday.
The statistics show that murder increased by 1.4% and sexual offences by 1.7%.
However, there was a 2.7% increase in 17 community reported crimes.
Senior researcher at the ISS Dr Andrew Faull says while incidents of murder have increased, the risk of being murdered is actually less.
“Although the total number of murders have gone up the rate of murder has flattened. And the rate is more important than the total.”
Over the past two years, he says, the murder rate has stabilised for the first time in eight years.
But Faull warns a significant reduction in crime will need a professional police service.
“We are talking about correcting the leadership fractures in the SAPS leadership. The National Development Plan talks about vetting all generals, setting those who fail their appraisals corrective targets, so basically ensuring that the people leading the SAPS are competent and skilled.”
He says this type of leadership will filter down to the officers who are on the ground fighting crime.