South Africa's transition since 1994 has required an extensive overhaul of its institutions and laws. The last 10 years have been characterized by a flurry of new policies and legislation in the criminal justice sector. After 1994, one of the government's priorities was the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS). The NCPS recognized the social and developmental causes of crime, as well as the need to involve a range of government departments and civil society partnerships. The strategy has, however, lost momentum as a result of public and political pressure to deliver decisive, short-term solutions. Since 1999, the government's focus has been on tough law enforcement interventions and on passing new laws aimed at improving criminal justice functioning. This article argues that South Africa's criminal justice system has performed well considering the challenges it has faced since 1994. The task now is to deal with increasingly negative public perceptions of safety and renew efforts to prevent crime by tackling the social and developmental factors that are beyond the scope of the police and courts.