Law enforcement in South Africa

JMPD officers in Houghton Estate

Law enforcement in South Africa is primarily the responsibility of the South African Police Service (SAPS), South Africa's national police force, which is responsible for investigating crime and maintaining safety and security throughout the country. The South African Police Service is established in accordance with the provisions of Section 205 of the Constitution of South Africa.[1]

Some municipalities also maintain their own Municipal Police units, which are tasked mainly with traffic policing and the enforcement of municipal bylaws. Municipal Police have fewer powers than the South African Police Service, and do not investigate major crimes.[2] Municipal Police forces exist in a number of major cities, including Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

See also


  1. ^ Constitution of South Africa, Chapter 11
  2. ^ Municipal Policing in South Africa: Development and Challenges, Chapter 3
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