Parliament, Cape Town - The incidence of rape and violence against women has reached “alarming proportions” Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday.

“We are moving... to combat this barbaric conduct by merciless perpetrators,” he told MPs in the National Assembly, during a debate on last week's state-of-the-nation address.

Radebe said it had been decided to re-establish sexual offences courts to complement the work of the SA Police Service sexual offences unit.

“We are in discussions with the judiciary to ensure that sexual offences cases are placed on prioritised rolls.”

His department was also looking at strengthening the “legislative framework” around bail, admission of evidence, and the “sentencing of perpetrators of these heinous crimes”. - Sapa