Saying SA should place its focus on violence-prevention programmes, the ISS said: "Most violent behaviour is learnt or tolerated in the home, communities and schools where children either directly experience or witness violence."
"Many people grow up believing that violence is an acceptable way to solve disputes or assert authority. This drives much of the violence that occurs between men in public places, and at home against women."
The recent outbreaks of public violence, mostly against foreigners, are another warning sign government cannot afford to ignore. Levels of public violence in general are rising, the security analysts said.
"To address the drivers of violence in South Africa requires an increased investment in programmes proven to work." These include:
- Positive parenting programmes,
- After-school care programmes, and
- Anti-bullying programmes at schools.
Evidence-based interventions that have been shown to work, the ISS said, include increasing firearm control, providing support for parents and caregivers, providing trauma counselling and support for children who experience violence, and strengthening life skills training.