The Children’s Act (2005) defines neglect as “a failure in the exercise of parental responsibilities to provide for the basic physical, intellectual, emotional or social needs” of the child. Acts of deliberate neglect should be reported to the appropriate authorities, one of which is the police.
This data was requested from SAPS but was not provided. It is also not reported on in the SAPS 2016/17 Annual Report as it is not classified as a priority crime. The Institute for Security Studies' Crime Hub, which presents the overall SAPS crime data as accessible graphs and maps, also records no data for 2016/17 but indicates that 2,082 counts of neglect and child ill treatement were reported in 2017/18.1 There has been a decrease in the number of reports cases over the last decade, down from 4,106 in 2008.
1 See https://issafrica.org/crimehub/facts-and-figures/national-crime, accessed July 2018.