Johannesburg - Sexual offence statistics in South Africa were still too high, the National Freedom Party said on Friday.
"We note that while sex-related crimes... decreased by just more than one percent, these crimes still remain very high as compared to global figures and South Africa remains the rape capital of the world," NFP president Zanele KaMagwaza-Msibi said.
She welcomed an overall decrease in crime reflected in the latest statistics released by Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Thursday.
Msibi said sexual crimes were not always reported.
"We call on the government to provide safe shelters for the elderly and orphans, especially in rural areas, as these sections of our population are the most vulnerable to sexual crimes," she said.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Theto Mahlakoana said the union was encouraged by the reduced figures but felt that murder figures were still too high.
The murder rate had dropped by just over three percent.
A total of 15 609 murders were recorded in 2011/2012, compared to 15 940 the previous year.
"We are also equally disturbed by the high rate of recorded sexual offences," Mahlakoana said in a statement.
The union said that the frequency of child rapes, in particular, were cause for alarm.
"This is monstrous and we appeal to all South Africans to reclaim a more dignified society that isn't riddled by such ills."