Alcohol and South Africa’s drop in crime


Police figures suggest that crime and violence have plummeted since South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown began on 27 March. According to Police Minister Bheki Cele, the decline is predominantly due to a ban on the sale of alcohol, but is this true? Decreases in crime have been reported in numerous countries after COVID-19 related restrictions were introduced, despite most not banning alcohol.

This seminar will explore what can and can’t be known about the relationship between alcohol and South Africa’s apparent crime decline, and policy implications for the country post-pandemic.

Chair: Dr Andrew Faull, Senior Researcher, Justice & Violence Prevention, ISS


Dr Moosa Parak, Emergency Medical Practitioner

Jean Redpath, Africa Criminal Justice Reform, University of the Western Cape

Dr Laurine Platzky, Alcohol Harms Reduction consultant

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