South Africa's murder rate has dropped by 3.1 percent in the past financial year, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced on Thursday.
Releasing the 2011/12 annual crime statistics at Parliament, Mthethwa said in 2004/5 more than 18,000 people were murdered - now down to less than 16 000.
There had been a 27.6 percent reduction over an eight year period - 2004/5 to 2011/12, he said.
Sexual offences had dropped by 3.7 percent.
"We need to emphasise that, as government, we are, however, still concerned about the scourge of rape in our country.
"Rape decreased [by] 1.9 percent, but is [still] unacceptably high," Mthethwa said.
On organised crime, Mthethwa said this category was showing a downward trend.
"The most highly organised forms of aggravated robberies - namely carjacking, cash-in-transit heists, and bank robbery - have experienced decreases," he said.
Breaking down the figures, Mthethwa said carjacking decreased by 23.6 percent in 2010/11. A further decrease of 11.9 percent followed in 2011/12.
Cash-in-transit robberies were down by 37.5 percent, and bank robberies by 10.3 percent in 2011/12.
House robberies decrease by 1.9 percent, but business robberies continued to show an upward trend, jumping 7.5 percent.
Mthethwa noted an increase in small business robberies.
"We have now finalised a strategy to combat and reduce robberies at small business... we will be engaging relevant parties to ensure implementation of the strategy within next few weeks," he said.