Patrols given a boost

2016-04-28 06:00
Patricia de Lille, City of Cape Town Executive Mayor (middle), and Alderman JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security (sitting on the right) handed over equipments to Ikamva Peacemakers, in Samora Machel, on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

Patricia de Lille, City of Cape Town Executive Mayor (middle), and Alderman JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security (sitting on the right) handed over equipments to Ikamva Peacemakers, in Samora Machel, on Tuesday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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The “real heroes” in the city’s crime fighting project receive a shot in the arm when they received much needed equipment to make their voluntary work easier.

Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille, together with Alderman JP Smith, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security handed over two-way radios, reflective jackets, torches, bicycles and whistles to Ikamva Peacemakers.

The event took place on Tuesday at Samora Machel’s Sophumelela Secondary School.

Ikamva Peacemakers outshined other neighbourhood watches and were crowned 2015 champions.

It was reported at the event that the shortage of equipment stifles the work of neighbourhood watches, and soon volunteer numbers decline as a result.

Ikamva Peacemakers patrol in the Samora Machel, Kosovo and Vlei informal settlements. During the week, they mainly protect school children en route to school and home, and monitor five schools in the area.

De Lille heaped praises on the volunteers for their contribution in fighting crime in the area and said it has become the talk of the town because of their outstanding work.

“These are the real heroes of our city. They are ordinary residents who are doing extra-ordinary work for the city. What you are doing for the community is not going unnoticed. We must and we can fight crime together. We will continue investing in our communities to ensure that they are safe,” she said.

She said the city has invested over R5 million in the project since 2013.

De Lille also said those who are found to be selling drugs in the city houses should be removed and those houses should be occupied by other people.

She also suggested to Ikamva Peacemakers to make a proposal for assistance on anything of their choice which will benefit the community such as the “container with full equipment” that they need.

Smith said the city has come up with a new plan which will see some Neighbourhood Watch volunteers being employed as reservist for the City’s Law Enforcement.

That announcement was met with a loud round of applause and excitement from the volunteers.

“We have quite a unique neighbourhood watch in the city compared to other cities in the country. We are the only city that is taking neighbourhood watch as part of the city.

You are models to other neighbourhood watches in the city,” Smith said.

Thembela Jacobs of Ikamva Peacemakers, thanked Smith for creating job opportunities for them last year when they cut a bush in the area which was a hot sport for criminal activities.

He also appealed that they be given another job opportunity for cleaning a pond, also in the area, where a “headless body” was found last year.

Anele “Skara” Mqoboli, also of Ikamva Peacemakers, told De Lille to wait for their letter requesting for a soup kitchen.

“The equipment is going to make our job much easier. Some of our members lost interest because we did not have equipment. We will write a request to you mayor for the soup,” Mqoboli said.

Xoliswa Msuthu added that the equipment is going to motivate them to continue fighting crime in the area. Msuthu started as a volunteer about four years ago.

She said most of the time they come to rescue residents who are victims of street robberies and gangsterism.

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