South Africa is a country ravaged by crime, yet few theoretical frameworks exist by which to guide crime reduction initiatives, and none incorporating a spatial component. Crime scientists are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of spatial dynamics in their research, with both the geographic distributions of offences and offenders seemingly playing important roles. However, empirical research investigating the spatial dimension of crime in South Africa is sorely lacking, which is a worrying fact, given the importance of this factor in understanding crime in the country. In this paper key requirements in the development of a spatial-ecological theory of crime in South Africa are outlined and investigated. Although these requirements necessarily have a geo-analytic bias, they will, nevertheless, have an impact on the associated field of criminology in South Africa. Within this context local researchers would be able to provide feedback on the dominance and ethnocentric bias of “American” criminology as well as lay a theoretical foundation for a critical-realistic understanding of crime in the country.