City of Cape Town allocates R65m to law enforcement as it tackles crime in Mitchells Plain

To combat crime and gangsterism in Mitchells Plain, the City of Cape Town has allocated R65m to the SAPS to employ more metro police staff and an additional R60m for police vehicles, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith said on Monday.

A stakeholder meeting, attended by MEC for Safety and Security Dan Plato and MEC for Social Development Albert Fritz, was convened at Lentegeur police station to discuss possible solutions to the scourge of criminal activity in the area.

"We have allocated R6m to neighbourhood watches for equipment such as bicycles, whistles and lights," Smith told News24.

"Additional resources were voted in at the last budget meeting at the end of June. We have a bit more metro police staff and we are aggressively expanding our metro police staff programme. [The] SAPS reservist programme has done very poorly. A lot of resources have been pulled from them – from 22 000 reservists to around 800. The City is trying to compensate, and our reservist programme is growing."

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Plans were also made to invite the metro police Drug and Gang Task team to assist Mitchells Plain law enforcement.

"We have also offered assistance to SAPS. We have been very preoccupied with Hanover Park, Kensington, Lavender Hill and Ocean View. That has eaten up a lot of our time and we are trying to repurpose those resources now," Smith said.

Fritz focused on social intervention at schools, namely drilling competitions and diversionary programmes.

"Children are being used by gangsters as shooters. They walk 50 metres from the police station and shoot – they are all 15 and 16," Fritz said.

"These children come to our centres and they are giving us immense problems and the centres are overflowing. We have statutes that govern us - the Children's Act, which says we must intervene when it comes to the safety of children."

Fritz added that he supported the call for military intervention in the area.

Earlier this month, the Democratic Alliance and more than 1 000 supporters walked from Manenberg police station to Nyanga police station to protest against violent crime and gangsterism in the city.

Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi rejected the Democratic Alliance's memorandum that called for military intervention.

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