UNITY: Provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Jeanette Basson signs the pledge as HOD Nomakhwezi Jonkers looks on. Picture: ZANDISILE LUPHAHLA
The fight against crime was intensified when the department of transport, safety and liaison in the province hit the ground running and launched the Emthanjeni and Ubuntu Local Municipalities’ Community Safety Forums (CSF) at the weekend.
Department spokesperson Keitumetse Moticoe said CSF is an integrated structure that has key functions which include coordinating, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of safety programmes or projects at a local level.
“They identify policing priorities with the police, joint ownership of policing programmes and ensure police accountability to the community among other functions,” he said.
The Northern Cape has the smallest population of the country’s nine provinces but hold the dubious distinction of being the province where the chance of being raped and murdered is the highest in the country.
The launch at Victoria West’s community hall at Ubuntu municipality was attended by various members of the community and stakeholders that included the SAPS, department of social development, youth groups, women’s groups, CPFs and faith-based organisations.
The provincial police commissioner Lt-Gen Jeanette Basson also attended the launch and addressed the community on the importance of finding unity in such forums. She said the new body would create a good platform for communities to voice their concerns, be actively involved in fighting crime and finding solutions to challenges in their communities. Acting head of department Catherine Nomakwezi Jonkers said it was an exciting day for community members to be united in launching the CSFs. She said the commitment of various stakeholders made the launch possible and only unity and commitment will further its mandate.
“The forum will provide an opportunity to empower communities on safety and security at a local level.
“As the various stakeholders, unity is very important because we have set one goal which is to fight crime. In the old days, SAPS was responsible to fight crime but times have changed and now everyone needs to be involved in fighting crime,” she said.
Jonkers said everyone needed to put themselves in the shoes of a victim of crime and realise that it is everyone’s fight.
“Everyone needs to play a role not only to condemn crime but also to expose it and assist police fight crime. There are members of the community and government institutions determined to fight crime and everyone needs to join in to win the fight so we can all live in harmony,” Jonkers said.