PNP: Safer spaces possible with professional policing, effective partnerships | Western Cape Government


PNP: Safer spaces possible with professional policing, effective partnerships

18 April 2016

Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

It is my privilege today to present the official Policing Needs and Priorities (PNPs) of the Western Cape, as determined through our annual workshops held between May and December 2015.

Through our Constitutional mandate, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety (DoCS) consulted all 16 police clusters, comprising 150 police precincts, as well as key stakeholders and decision makers in the field of safety and security in the province:

  • The South African Police Service (SAPS),

  • Community Police Forums (CPFs),

  • Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs),

  • Local authorities,

  • Non-governmental and community based organisations,

  • Faith based organisations, and

  • Members of the general public.

The Western Cape has seen a worrying increase in the levels of crime as reported in the latest crime statistics released last year.

Government, as a collective, needs to be responsive to these realities and the needs of the communities it represents. It is therefore necessary to read the annual PNP report within the context of the crime realities the people of this province face.

To help create safer environments, effective partnerships are needed between the police, law enforcement entities, all spheres of government and communities as a united front.

Section 206(1) of the Constitution requires that the Cabinet Minister (national) responsible for policing must determine national policing policy after consulting provincial governments. The policing needs and priorities of each province, as determined by the provincial executive, must be taken into account.

The report I present to you today is our official submission to National Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko.

Minister Nhleko now has the opportunity in the budget debate of the South African Police Service on Thursday, 21 April 2016, to show the people of this province that their voices have been heard.

This report is not only the people’s mandate to SAPS, it is also an acknowledgement by the people in the province that safety is everyone’s responsibility.

The newly structured 2-day PNP consultation workshops saw practical and implementable safety plans drafted for each community. 

The Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities Report 2015/16 details the key recommendations from community safety plans, and the different perceptions around safety in our province.

The report discusses safety priorities at provincial and cluster level in three broad themes:

Professional Policing

  • More resources - more police vehicles, police officers and police infrastructure.

  • More trust – a lack of trust in the police and the criminal justice system exists.

  • Less corruption – perception that some police officials are corrupt, bolstered by high profile corruption charges brought against former Provincial Commissioner, Arno Lamoer;

  • Less gangsterism and drugs – policing seems to have too little impact on high levels of gangsterism and drugs in communities.

Safe Public Spaces

  • No Alcohol abuse – many concerns were raised regarding the consumption of alcohol, regulation of all outlets. The monitoring of operating hours is needed in the fight against alcohol abuse and the harms it cause, such as interpersonal violence.

  • No gangsterism and drugs ­– one of the biggest concerns in the Western Cape is how gangsters and druglords destroy the safety of public spaces.

  • No empty buildings, poor street lighting and unsafe pathways.


  • Participation by NHWs and CPFs in various programmes, such as the Expanded Partnership Programme.

  • Support – SAPS and other authorities need to adequately support the NHWs when on patrol.

  • Integration – cooperation among government departments, and communities, in addressing the root causes of crime.

The combined findings of the Community Safety Scorecard for each cluster in the province offers insight into the safety perceptions of residents of the Western Cape.

It should be of great concern for all safety stakeholders that respondents are increasingly feeling unsafe in public spaces, even during the day:

  • 43% do not feel safe in their homes at night, whereas 71% feel safe at home during the day.

  • 67% do not feel safe in public commercial/retail places at night, compared to 52% who feel safe in these spaces during the day.

  • 73% do not feel safe on the street at night, but neither do 48% of respondents during the day.

  • 82% do not feel safe in open spaces and recreational areas at night; neither do 51% of respondents during the day.

  • 81% do not feel safe accessing communal areas such as toilets or taps at night, and 58% of respondents during the day

It is however heartening to see how the people of the Western Cape value the safety contribution made by members of their own community.

Respondents ranked institutions in terms of contribution towards safety in the community as follows:

  • Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) – 88%;

  • Community Police Forums (CPFs) – 76%;

  • SAPS Reservist programme – 75%;

  • Community Safety Forums – 60%.

Key findings on SAPS point to mixed feelings on the state of policing, including:

  • 61% of respondents have confidence in the police in their area – compared to the little or no confidence by respondents in the Department of Correctional Services (55%), National Prosecuting Authority (54%) and the Justice system (65%)

  • 35% of respondents think the police in their area are corrupt, while 57% of respondents felt the police do not respond to crime scenes on time.

  • 76% of respondents believe the police in their area treat the community with courtesy and respect.

  • On resources, 70% of respondents believe the police have the necessary skills to carry out their policing requirements, but 63% of respondents feel that they don’t have the necessary physical resources to do so

In total, the report outlines 38 key safety concerns and desired outcomes for the province. Some of the key recommendations are:

To improve professional policing

  • SAPS indicate how Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities identified are considered in resource allocation and planning.

  • SAPS need to strengthen intelligence-driven policing activities, especially the investigation of gangs and drug-related matters.

  • A Review of the method SAPS uses to determine policing resources for each area, so that more emphasis is placed on the extent of serious crimes. The model used by SAPS is called Theoretical Human Resource Requirement (THRR).

  • Address the shortage in human resources through a recruitment drive by SAPS.

  • Improve visible policing by relieving SAPS members of administrative burdens.

  • Eradicate corruption in the police through strong disciplinary action.

  • SAPS and CPFs need to report on the state and nature of physical resources at police stations.

  • Eliminate delays in repairing vehicles, equipment and infrastructure through interventions by the SAPS Cluster Commanders and Provincial Commissioner.

  • Improving SAPS response times and CPFs to continuously monitor.

  • Domestic violence should be made a specific crime-reporting category to effectively monitor the number of cases reported.

  • DoCS and SAPS must continue to implement the recommendations made by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

To make public spaces safe

  • Municipalities should enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Community Safety towards the implementation of the Community Safety Plans.

  • Municipalities must review by-laws concerning liquor, and beef up effective law enforcement for transgressions.

  • Municipalities to consider increasing capacity of law enforcement officials, particularly after hours and over weekends.

  • Municipalities must prioritise interventions according to identified areas affected by crime.

  • Municipalities to consider ring-fencing allocated funds to councillors for crime prevention initiatives.

  • CCTV cameras must be operational and maintained by all relevant role-players, with links to law enforcement operation rooms capable of intervening in the fight against crime.

To improve partnerships

  • DoCS must provide training and support for CPFs and NHWs on an ongoing basis.

  • A joint public education campaign is required by all partners in the criminal justice system.

  • Western Cape Provincial SAPS, relevant government departments and other law enforcement agencies must work together to make a meaningful impact on drug abuse and gangsterism.

  • The NPA needs to work together with the SAPS to prosecute known gangsters and improve the conviction rate.

  • Western Cape Education Department must address the increasing truancy problem.

  • Department of Social Development should ensure the provision of adequate support and rehabilitation services for substance dependents.

  • The Rural Safety Strategy needs to be implemented by SAPS.

The findings and recommendations of the 2015/16 PNP Report has provided the Department of Community Safety with well researched, documented evidence of provincial safety needs. The information has already been disseminated on cluster level shortly after each respective PNP workshop last year and the official report are being sent to all relevant safety stakeholders, including the National Minister of Police, National Police Commissioner and the Provincial Police Commissioner.

Next month the Department of Community Safety will begin the new Provincial Policing Needs and Priorities workshops for 2016/17.

A key feature of the 2016/17 PNP process will include the extensive training of Neighbourhood Watches and Community Policing Forums – the pulse of citizen-led safety interventions in our communities.

I look forward to the new round of PNPs as an opportunity to give communities a voice in the ongoing fight against crime

Media Enquiries: 

Ewald Botha
Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 079 694 1113