President Cyril Ramaphosa has visited the police station with the highest number of rape cases reported, calling on officers to do more with their resources.
Ramaphosa was at the Inanda police station in Durban on Friday where he assembled 42 senior police officers and station commanders in the district and called on them to do more.
"You are expected to do more with what you have. I want to call on you to demonstrate even more commitment. I want us to improve the reputation of police in South Africa. The police, as much as you are in the frontline, you are always criticised and seen in a bad light."
He said the public reported officers for not being where they were supposed to be at certain times.
"They say the police are never there for us. When women go to police stations to report rape cases, they are not well served. We are told some police stations do not have rape kits as they should."
Ramaphosa called on the officers to take issues thrown at them and turn them around.
"I want us to gear up on our commitment and I want to make sure that every police station does have rape kits. We are now living through the nightmare of gender-based violence. This [Inanda] is regarded as the rape capital of the nation."
He called on police stations in the district - especially with crimes of a sexual nature - to "always be ready with kindness, compassion and understanding".
"You are the ones [who are] going to have to be at the forefront. You are the leaders of the stations who must have well-trained officers. Criminals must know you are there and crime must be reduced. You need to be out there in the forefront to reduce incidents of criminality. A number of crimes, with our presence and visible policing can be reduced."
Ramaphosa said he was concerned about statistics which revealed that while crimes were reported, few went to court.
"It tells me we have to do more on the detective side. When criminals know [that] they never get to court and found guilty, then it becomes 'crimeville', there is no consequence."
Addressing the media, Ramaphosa did not say what led to Inanda taking the top spot for rape cases. He also did not field questions.
The station recorded 338 cases, a more than 20% increase from the previous year.