Cape Town– The community of Elsies River will feel a bit safer from today after receiving a state-of-the-art satellite police station to boost crime-fighting initiatives in the area.
In recent weeks, the Elsies River community has been rattled by the death of three-year-old Courtney Pieters and the senseless killing of rising football star Fernando Williams, who was killed in a mass shooting that left four people dead and nine others injured.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula visited the area for the third time since his appointment and kept his word to the gang-plagued Elsies River community.
Addressing a packed Adriaanse Civic Centre in Elsies River, Minister Mbalula reassured the community that they can count on government’s support and improved policing in the area.
“We are here to support you. This relationship won’t die‚” Minister Mbalula told the crowd.
He stressed that police will not be hands-off in the fight against crime. “We are going to make it easier to report crime. Those who have police in their pockets – we will find them,” the Minister said.
Turning to abuse, Minister Mbalula urged women to leave abusive relationships, while giving them the assurance that no police station or officer will turn abused women away.
“Once a boyfriend ‘klaps’ you, you must run away,” he said.
Community leaders earlier raised a number of issues of lack of police resources and additional police stations to deal with ongoing crime in the area.
City of Cape Town Councillor Franchesca Walker said the mobile community service centre is a clear indication that the entire SAPS is committed to eradicating crime.
“SAPS in the Western cape is underresourced, making it very difficult for the police to effectively deal with the serious crime challenges.
“We therefore thank the Ministry for the assistance they bring to this community through the donation of the mobile Community Service Centre, which will help ensure that the SAPS serve the community of Elsies River effectively,” she said.
Walker said reports indicate that 19 children have been murdered in the Western Cape since January.
“As a community, we cannot sit by and watch our children lose their lives in this manner. No parent should have to bury their child,” she said.
She called on residents to form neighbourhood watches to join Community Policing Forums and take ownership of their community because the police service cannot do it alone.
“Criminals are known to us as, they are our family members. I call on this community to report criminal activities to the police and help make our streets safer.”