According to Nicky Falkof, the English and Afrikaans media have not differed materially in their treatment of the subject: "The paranoia, sensationalism or occasional scepticism with which stories were reported generally had more to do with the class or locality of the audience than with their language group." The phenomenon is also evident in South Africa's neighbouring countries.In March 2013, Zimbabwe's national police spokesperson Charity Charamba said media reports about Satanic incidents were unfounded and were causing unnecessary panic.The Satanic Bible authored by Anton La Vey and published in the United States in 1969, which contains the main principles of atheistic La Veyan Satanism, was banned during apartheid in South Africa from 1973 to 1993 for moral reasons.

The SAPS Occult Related Crimes Unit was established in 1992 during the final years of apartheid by born-again Christian Kobus Jonker, prompted by former Minister of Law and Order Adriaan Vlok.

Jonker joined the SAP in 1969 and was previously head of the Port Elizabeth Murder and Robbery Unit.

These social stresses are products of the rapid social change and social disorganization that began during the 1960s, and that caused a deep cultural crisis of values and authority.

The satanic cult legend says, in symbolic form, that our moral values are threatened by evil forces beyond our control, and that we have lost faith in our authorities to deal with the threat.

the current cultural paranoia concerning the 'satanic epidemic' is directly attributable to the extreme dualistic theology of the burgeoning evangelical Christian movements, which simultaneously promotes persecutory anxiety in the Christian faithful, and spurs would-be Luciferian rebels to genuine satanic practices.

Ivey states "All monotheistic religions are forced to account for the presence of evil in a world where everything is created by God, who in theory should be able to vanquish all forms of evil but seems in capable to do so." He compares the importance of Satan in the only two contemporary major religions with a personified principle of evil in opposition to a single omnipotent deity who is unambiguously good, namely Satan in Christianity, whose identity evolved in the New Testament, and Satan in Islam.

With reference to this quote, academic Nicky Falkof states in a South African context "alongside this, the figure of the Satanist provides an object for the displacement of anxiety and the concurrent cohesion of nationalistic sentiment." Apart from religious groups, the media and the government have aggravated the local phenomenon.

In 2007 Afrikaans-language newspaper Rapport dismissed journalist Deon Maas, who had advocated religious tolerance in his new column, to protect its commercial interests.

He notes the greater significance of Satan in Christianity, as Satan emerged as a less threatening figure in Islam and "Because it embraces a fundamental dualism, the Christian spiritual world is seen as a battleground between God and the personification of evil, the Devil." In her 2012 MA thesis, Danielle Dunbar argues that while influenced by the international Satanism scare, past periods of Satanic panic in South Africa reflected localised periods of political upheaval and social anxiety.

Satanic cult stories arise as a response to widespread socioeconomic stresses, particularly those affecting parenting and family relationships.

The SAPS website also listed 41 "warning signs of possible destructive occult-related discourse", including "gender confusion", playing fantasy games which lack boundaries, an interest in computers, an excessive interest in horror movies and heavy metal music, depression and various stereotypical elements of Gothic fashion.