CPF electoral AGMs get the green light under alert level 1
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes the Acting Provincial Commissioner, Maj Gen T Patekile’s, letter dated 2 March 2021 stating that under the new alert level Community Police Forums (CPFs) may continue to hold valid electoral Annual General Meetings (AGM), should they have not already done so.
To date, 124 valid electoral AGMs have taken place across the province. Minister Fritz welcomes the continuation of the elections as a positive step towards completing the current round of electoral AGMs.
Minister Fritz said, “The newly elected CPF Executive will serve a 5-year term. The term starts during a specific year, even if there had been changes and vacancies within the 5-year period. The previous 5-year term was from 2014-19; and the current term from 2019-2024. Due to Covid-19, the CPF electoral AGMs were continuously interrupted with the changing of the lockdown levels, where gatherings were not allowed at some levels.”
As detailed in the Provincial Commissioner’s letter, due to the level 3 Regulations, as promulgated on 11 January 2021, gatherings were not permitted. However, on 28 February 2021, it was announced that that alert level 1 will apply on 1 March 2021 and that gatherings such as the CPFs’ electoral AGMs may take place subject to strict health and safety measures.
It is further advised that the number of persons that may attend such meetings be limited to 100 persons or less for indoors, provided that no more than 50% of the capacity of the venue is used. Additionally, those in attendance must maintain a safe social distance of at least 1.5 meters from each other.
Minister Fritz said, “As outlined by the Provincial Commissioner, existing CPFs can function until such time that elections can be held and new structures are in place. I look forward to the conclusion of all valid electoral AGMs across the province so that we can begin engaging with our province’s CPFs as we work towards the implementation of Area Based Teams in our most crime afflicted communities.”
The Provincial Commissioner has further advised that all CPF Chairpersons are instructed to take note of the following:
- The elective AGMs must be officiated over by both the Station Commander and/or their representative, and representatives from the Department of Community Safety (DoCS). AGMs without these representatives will be invalid.
- The AGMs must be conducted in the spirit of inclusivity, including all community based organisations who have expressed an interest.
- Should any dispute arise about voting rights, station commander must, in consultation with a representative from the DoCS, attempt to find an amicable resolution to such a dispute; and
- If this is not possible, the process must be suspended, and the matter will be escalated to the Provincial Commissioner and the DoCS’ Head of Department.
Minister Fritz said, “By observing these instructions, we can ensure the speedy conclusion of the province’s CPF electoral AGMs and ensure that the necessary stakeholders are included in the process. By bringing this chapter to a close, we will ensure that CPFs are able to get back to the important work of bridging the relationships between police stations and the communities they serve.”
Should you have any additional queries, or wish to contact the Department of Community Safety’s Community Police Relations (CPR) unit which oversees CPFs’ electoral AGMs, please contact: Akhona Hlungulwana at 021 483 6542 or Akhona.Hlungulwana@westerncape.gov.za