This article aims to contribute to the debate about the obstacles and challenges to implementing social crime prevention in South Africa. It does so by engaging briefly with three questions: 1. How can the state response to crime in the post-1994 period be characterised? 2. What are the obstacles to social crime prevention in South Africa? 3. Is it correct to assume that social crime prevention strategies could contribute (significantly) to solving the problem of crime and violence in South Africa?