There is a strong emphasis on restorative justice in SA’s Victim Empowerment Programme.
The National Crime Prevention Strategy of 1996 laid the foundation for the development of a comprehensive Victim Empowerment Programme, as expressed in the National Policy Guidelines for Victim Empowerment, together with its supporting policies such as the Service Charter of Victim’s Rights, as a framework guaranteeing services for victims as well as the Minimum Standards for Service Delivery in Victim Empowerment (Department of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, 2004b).
There is a strong emphasis on restorative justice in the National Policy Guidelines for Victim Empowerment. The foreword by the Minister of Social Development states unambiguously that “South Africa’s Victim Empowerment Policy is based upon the concept of restorative justice … [which] is fully in concert with international trends over the past decade to promote a victim-centred approach to criminal justice” (DSD, n.d.: 1). Restorative justice is also listed as one of the guiding principles (DSD, n.d.: 9).