Johannesburg - An international monitor has found that crime in South Africa is at its lowest level in 15 years, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said on Thursday.
"Violent crime is at the lowest level seen in a decade, declining some 40% between 2002 and 2013," he said in a statement.
"Property crime experienced a decrease of 24% over the same period."
The figures were contained in a report by IHS Crime Index, a US-based company said to be providing more than 165 countries with independent analysis.
Mthethwa said: "Since 1994, we have been making steady progress in the fight against crime. This period has been characterised by growing unity in action against crime, a period focused on improving life conditions for all, especially the poor."
The IHS index findings vindicated government's recently released national crime statistics, which also focused on historical trends, the minister said.
"It is gratifying that an internationally recognised, credible, and globally-respected institution has now affirmed the fact that crime is decreasing in South Africa."
Crime figures released by the SAPS last month showed a 6% rise in the number of murders in the past financial year.
However, it was down by 16.6% over the past four years, and 27.2% over the past nine years.
There was also a 6.5% increase in attempted murder in 2012/13.
This was in contrast to a 16.8% decline over the past four years and the 51.7% decline over the past nine years.
Mthethwa said on Thursday success in the fight against crime was guaranteed.
"However long the night, the dawn will break," he said.