Bredasdorp – Authorities remain in Service of the Community
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
The Bredasdorp community has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the last couple of years with three violent gender-based murders occurring in the town.
Recent media reports have asked how it can be possible for one community to be repeatedly affected, seemingly without intervention by any of the authorities.
The Departments of Community Safety and Social Development have been active in the town of Bredasdorp and, as the Western Cape Government we remain committed to support our communities, to help the people of Bredasdorp.
The following briefing will focus on our:
- Interventions thus far;
- New findings from a pilot study conducted in Bredasdorp; and
- Combined efforts going forward.
Social Development – the interventions thus far
Following the initial abduction charges in November last year regarding the Elda Jafta case, both the mother and daughter received support via the Department of Social Development’s Victim Empowerment Programme.
Subsequent to the more recent arrest of the suspect for the alleged murder of the 14-year old victim, the mother has received counselling support from the social workers. The Department has a comprehensive record of the interventions done for her and her family to which the Department of Social Development would be able to provide more detail.
Social Development’s NGO partner, Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA), also provided child care and protection services to the family in terms of the Children’s Act.
The Department of Social Development also launched a local office, March 2015, in order to boost service delivery initiatives for the area. The office provides:
- Child care and protection services
- Probation services,
- Substance abuse interventions, and
- Family and parenting support services to the surrounding community.
However, the success of this office (as well as the office of our funded NGO partner’s, Child Welfare South Africa (CWSA), office in the area as a resource to the community, requires the people of the community to use it.
The Department of Community Safety has both ongoing and targeted interventions in the Bredasdorp Community. The three most relevant includes the latest Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) determination workshop, the youth focussed safety outreach which we will be holding on Friday, 19 June 2015, as well as the findings of an independent investigative pilot study conducted in Bredasdorp.
Policing Needs and Priorities (PNP) 2015/16
The recent Policing Needs and Priorities determination workshop for the Overberg region has seen interesting results for the updated policing needs and priorities for the region. The workshop also developed a comprehensive draft safety plan which will be implemented.
The preliminary results from the 12 police precincts represented (including the Bredasdorp precinct) in the Hermanus/Caledon police cluster shows that the majority of respondents:
- Have confidence in the police operating in their area;
- Believe the police in their area have the skills to carry out their policing requirements; but
- Believe that the police in their area are under-resourced.
The comprehensive draft Safety Plan drawn up over the two-day consultative workshop, with all stakeholders’ inputs taken into consideration, has identified 14 objectives necessary to create safer environments where people work, live and move about. Some of these include:
- Address the policing resource shortages;
- Identify, address and eliminate policing corruption;
- Ensure compliance with liquor laws and by-laws;
- Address and prevent drug abuse;
- Youth development;
- Safety awareness; and
- Safety partnerships.
For each of these objectives, lists of practical and implementable activities have been compiled for the relevant organisations to address and work Better Together to bring about safer environments.
The Safety Plan will be sent back to the Cluster CPF so that they can formally adopt it. The Cluster CPF will monitor the implementation of the plan. The Department of Community Safety will also monitor the implementation of the plan.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility and the draft Safety Plan provides a shared ownership, responsibility and accountability to safety, not only for the communities who are served by the plan, but between the various safety role players involved as well.
Independent investigative pilot study conducted in Bredasdorp
Last week, 8 June 2015, I attended a policing Imbizo in Bredasdorp and shared for the first time with the community the results of a pilot study commissioned by the Department of Community Safety into Bredasdorp.
An independent facilitator conducted 11 investigative consultations with community members, the youth, municipality and safety stakeholders.
The most profound findings came from the Youth and Violence Prevention Summit which saw a focus on gender-based violence, especially on the role of men, in relationship violence. Some of the responses from the young men, while discussing the possibility of young women ending their relationships include:
- “Some men believed that a girlfriend needs to be punished when she cheats in the relationship”;
- “I will take revenge in whatever form”; or
- “I will date and have sex with her sister, cousin and her best friend… she won’t do that to me”.
These examples of inter-personal violence are at the core of problems in many of our communities. These are problems that need sustained and long-term interventions from society as a whole to make a difference.
Youth Safety interventions in Bredasdorp
This Friday, the Department of Community Safety will conduct a youth-focussed safety outreach in Bredasdorp which forms part of a larger series of outreach events across the province.
It aims to provide more information and explain the relevant requirements to communities, non-governmental organisations operating in the community as well as the religious fraternity on how to successfully partner with the Department of Community Safety towards a safer community – Better Together.
The various engagements will include sessions on the:
- Youth Safety and Religious Partnership (08:30 – 11:00);
- Northlink Bursary partnership and Chrysalis Academy (12:00 – 15:00);
- Neighbourhood Watch, Community Policing Forums and SAPS (16:00 - 17:00);
- Safety Walkabout in Bredasdorp (17:30 – 20:00).
At the Police Imbizo in Bredasdorp the SAPS admitted that they cannot create safer environments alone; the people of Bredasdorp acknowledged that the Police cannot be expected to create safer environments alone; the community challenged themselves to ask what needs to be done continuously to improve safety.
The Department of Community Safety is going back to Bredasdorp on Friday, not with the intention of providing all the solutions, but to offer opportunities for our youth. We will continue to work with any organisation and community in creating safer environments where people live, work and move about.
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 079 694 1113