More officers for Western Cape violence hotspot

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde.
Jaco Marais
  • The Western Cape government will employ another 500 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan officers for key violence hotspots.
  • This will increase the total number of officers in the programme to 1 000 by October.
  • The provincial government will look at making changes to alcohol legislation in a bid to decrease incidents of violence.

There will be another 500 "boots on the ground" in the Western Cape as part of the provincial government's safety plan.

The plan has already placed 500 Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers in key violence hotspots in Cape Town, but the provincial government intends to double this number by October, Premier Alan Winde said in his State of the Province Address.

The address was given in Genadendal on Wednesday.

READ | ShotSpotter project to curb gangsterism in Cape Town has been shelved

"This means that by the end of this year, the Western Cape's crime fighting-capacity will have been boosted by 1 000 of our own officers. This will make a real difference in our fight against gang violence, which continues to be a key driver of murder in our province," Winde said.

Winde added that the safety plan aimed to pursue "violence prevention strategies that will make a real difference in our communities".

"Its objective is to halve the Western Cape's murder rate in 10 years and, in doing so, to fundamentally change the lives of millions of people for the better."

WATCH | Shots fired as rival gangs clash in Cape Town

The province also intends to recruit 120 peace officers for six vulnerable municipalities and 56 peace officers have been trained and placed in Laingsburg, Prins Albert and Beaufort West, Winde said.

The Youth Safety Ambassador Programme will be launched in April and will see 1 000 young people trained and deployed as violence prevention facilitators in selected communities across the province.

"The safety ambassadors will play an important role within the area-based teams in assisting with the combatting of youth violence and murder at local community levels. They will also receive a monthly stipend and training opportunities to better their job prospects," Winde said.

Plans

But the province's safety plans go beyond the deployment of officers.

The province intends to tackle one of the causes of violence by changing alcohol legislation.

"There can be no doubt that there is a clear, causal relationship between alcohol abuse in our communities and violence. We saw this again in December when the most recent alcohol ban drastically reduced the number of people reporting to Western Cape emergency centres over the festive period," Winde said.

The province will present the first of a series of amendments to the Western Cape Liquor Act to the regulatory impact assessment committee next week, Winde said.

"We cannot allow the status quo regarding alcohol and violence to continue in the Western Cape. But we also cannot continue banning alcohol either…. Our intention remains to have this amendment bill published for public comment in the next few months," he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
37% - 2318 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1678 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2299 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.93
(+0.43)
ZAR/GBP
20.82
(+0.99)
ZAR/EUR
18.09
(+0.87)
ZAR/AUD
11.61
(+1.71)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(+0.45)
Gold
1763.86
(-0.38)
Silver
26.86
(-2.31)
Platinum
1201.00
(-1.15)
Brent Crude
66.03
(-0.11)
Palladium
2353.50
(-1.71)
All Share
66125.95
(-2.01)
Top 40
60759.42
(-2.10)
Financial 15
12167.02
(-1.36)
Industrial 25
86041.81
(-0.92)
Resource 10
67647.54
(-3.87)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo