South Africans are increasingly pessimistic about the government's ability to tackle the country's crippling crime rates
The biannual Government Performance Barometer report published by the Markinor research company among 3 500 respondents showed 40 percent of South Africans believed the government was doing enough to fight crime, down from 50 percent last year.
The results fly in the face of President Thabo Mbeki's assertions in a television interview Monday that most South Africans did not feel that crime was "out of control".
Although figures for most types of crime have dropped slightly in recent years, violent crime rates are still alarmingly high.
Over 18 000 people are murdered and about 54 000 are raped each year in South Africa.
The survey also revealed that the pessimism with regard to crime extended to supporters of the governing ANC party and not just what are often referred to as the "whinging whites".
Less than half of ANC supporters (47 percent) thought the government was doing enough on crime.
The margin of error of the poll was between 0 and 1.7 percent.
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Crime: SA even more critical of state