The VCP: an initiative that tackles the root causes of crime and violence

18 March 2014 | Opinion

In order to promote violence and crime prevention, the German and South African governments have agreed on a joint initiative: the Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention for Safe Public Spaces Programme (VCP).

The programme is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development, together with South African partners.

In past years, South Africa’s response to the country’s inclination towards violence and crime has been largely dominated by demands for a rigid law-enforcement approach and increased investment in the security sector. However, with the new vision for community safety contained in the National Development Plan, the prospect now exists for a renewed government commitment to a broader, more holistic and integrated approach to safety that looks at reducing the social root causes of violence.

Against this backdrop, the VCP and its partners call for the following:

  • Safety is everyone’s right
  • Violence prevention is more cost-effective and more efficient than repression
  • Prevention is the responsibility of everyone, thus integrated/systemic approaches are needed
  • Collaboration is key to successful prevention
  • The drivers of violence and crime are different from locality to locality. Thus, local-level actors are best placed to prevent violence
  • Local government can play a vital role in providing an enabling environment for violence prevention
  • Young people are the main victims and perpetrators of violence. Hence, they are important actors in preventing violence, and are key to interventions at a local level

Together with its partners, the VCP produced a sketching video that explains its approach to violence and crime prevention in South Africa in accessible and appealing terms. Watch it here: