Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has assured the police and community of Nyanga in Cape Town that government will do everything to fight crime and make the community safer.
He undertook an unannounced visit to Nyanga police station in Cape Town on Tuesday. This visit happened just as Stats SA announced that South Africans were feeling unsafe and that 41.7% of households believed crime had increased in their areas in the last three years, compared to 31.2% in 2010.
The visit was part of the Presidential Siyahlola Monitoring Programme to gain a first-hand account of work that is being done to fight crime in the area.
The Nyanga South African Police Service (SAPS) Cluster comprises Nyanga, Manenberg, Bishop Lavis, Gugulethu, Elsies River and Philippi East stations.
The Presidency on Tuesday said the Cluster has a total policing area size of 63 km² with a population of 701 611 people.
There are 137 schools comprising 90 primary schools and 47 high schools serving 114 607 registered learners. The Cluster also polices 27 informal settlements.
President Zuma interacted with police officials and members of the public at the station to get their views on what can be done to bring about an end to crime and to encourage stronger partnerships in the fight against crime.
Nyanga Police Station Commissioner Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata told President Zuma that there were challenges facing the communities that are served by the police station including drugs, murder, carjacking and other human contact crimes.
“However, we have made noticeable progress since the appointment of the Provincial Police Commissioner, Major General Khombinkosi Jula, who has introduced more community based strategies to fight crime,” said Ncata.
In addition, the Nyanga Cluster has initiated a number of crime awareness projects aimed at addressing the root causes and contributors of crime as well as initiatives to mitigate crimes directed at vulnerable groups.
“We have installed a satellite station in Browns Farm, which has been operational since October 2016 and has contributed immensely in the mitigation of crime in the area.
“Nyanga therefore has additional 24-hour service point which is rendered from the Philippi Railway Corridor with a total of 60 personnel. The police station is now working very well with the Community Policing Forum in fighting crime and the partnership with the community is improving but more still needs to be done to improve the situation,” said Ncata.
President Zuma has committed government to assist the police station and ensure that there’s significant coordination in the criminal justice system. He said this will increase the level of prosecution as there were complains that criminals do not get prosecuted.
“We are concerned with regard to the coordination within the criminal justice system. There should be high levels of prosecution because we cannot co-exist with criminals, as they undermine the rights of our citizens. We have encouraged the police to continue working hard to fight drug abuse in this area,” said President Zuma.
He said there was a view that perpetrators of crime were treated better than the victims in the community and that this should come to an end.
“The visit was very successful. We received a report from the Station Commissioner and we will engage the departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster to attend to the challenges faced by the police station,” said President Zuma.
The police station has also undertaken some positive social crime prevention programmes in the past year.
Making schools safe
In a collaboration between SAPS and the Department of Basic Education — which entails the linking of schools to local police stations — the police station’s Social Crime Prevention officers liaise with schools to provide crime orientated programmes, visits and, where required, the necessary searches to be conducted.
A total of 311 safe school programmes were undertaken during the reporting period. These programmes were aimed at addressing issues such as gangsterism, bullying, truancy, substance abuse, sexual offences and vandalism.
The Nyanga police station plans to initiate programmes to reintegrate offenders into communities, and prevent reoffending through creating employment opportunities and destigmatising parolees.