Minister Fritz launches K9 Unit in Moorreesburg | Western Cape Government


Minister Fritz launches K9 Unit in Moorreesburg

7 October 2020

Today, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, launched the West Coast District Municipality’s K9 Unit consisting of six dogs and handlers at the Moorreesburg weigh station, along the N7. Four dogs have been trained to detect illegal narcotics and two have been trained to detect explosives, firearms and ammunition.

The K9 Unit will be deployed and situated within Swartland law enforcement services and will serve the entire West Coast district for special operations. The Unit will improve police coverage and response time as previously, units from Milnerton SAPS would be called out to assist throughout the district.

Minister Fritz said, “Today, we are proud to launch the newly trained and deployed West Coast District’s K9 Unit, consisting of handlers and dogs, which have been especially trained to assist law enforcement operations in combating the trade and transportation of illicit narcotics.”

Minister Fritz continued, “We know that the N7, and many of its coastal towns, are particularly affected by trade and transportation of illicit substances as it is a national road leading to the South African border. This unit will go a long way in assisting law enforcement officials to track down and convict perpetrators and improve the safety of residents in the West Coast.”

Minister Fritz further continued, “I am fascinated by the training provided to the K9 unit, which enables them to respond to the specific crime trends affecting the West Coast which include the trafficking of illicit substances.” The K9 unit, which includes the dogs and their handlers, have been trained to provide support at integrated law enforcement operations in terms of:

  • Preventing the illegal transportation of narcotics, explosives and poaching of marine resources;
  • Delivering crime prevention through an integrated multidisciplinary model aimed at combatting and prevention of criminality;
  • Ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation including the National Road Traffic Act, the Criminal Procedure Act, Drug and Drug Trafficking Act and Firearm Control Act;
  • Increasing coverage through the deployment of K9 resources after hours; and
  • Maintaining a high degree of visible policing by means of K9 patrols, deployment to identified areas which includes weighbridges, key points and identified crime hot spots.

The Department of Community Safety has provided funding to the Swartland Municipality to facilitate the establishment of the Unit, supporting the district municipality’s safety plans. A further two official K9 launches will take place together with the City of Cape Town and Overberg district municipality.

Minister Fritz said, “We are committed to the success of this programme. As such, the Department has availed R4 million towards this programme in the 2019/20 financial year, has earmarked R2 million in 2020/21 and R2.2 million in 2021/22.”

Minister Fritz added, “I wish to recognise and commend the Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde, who conceptualised this project during his term as Minister of Community Safety. He ensured that K9 Units would be established in the West Coast, City of Cape Town and Overberg to respond to the prevalent crime trends related to illicit narcotics, firearms and ammunition, and abalone. Thank you, Premier, for your foresight and innovation.

Minister Fritz added further, “Going forward, I look forward to receiving the quarterly progress reports from the municipality on the achieved targets and outputs, as well as a detailed breakdown of the expenditure and the balance of the funds to date. The report will contain detailed operational feedback and/or shortcomings which will guide us as a provincial government department and the municipality in our joint-partnership and implementation. We are working better together.”

Click here to watch the video demonstration of K-9 Unit successfully identifying mandrax

Media Enquiries: 

Cayla Ann Tomás Murray
Spokesperson for Minister Albert Fritz
Tel: 021 483 8550
Cell: 064 121 7959