MEC Fritz and MEC Meyer attend West Coast Easter Safety Activation
On Thursday, 01 April 2021, Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, and the Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer, attended the launch of the West Coast’s Easter Joint Operation Committee (JOC) activation at the newly established Disaster Management Centre’s control room in Moorreesburg. Please see photos attached.
The launch included a presentation of the emergency response and prevention operation center or control room, and the JOC. “The launch was made possible through the implementation of the West Coast district municipality’s safety plan, formed in partnership with our Department. In total, ten young people will be used to monitor the control room,” said Minister Fritz.
Minister Fritz added, “Communications will be coordinated through the West Coast’s own radio frequency which will be managed through the control room, and will include SAPS, law enforcement, traffic officers and other safety stakeholders.”
Minister Fritz added further, “I am informed that over the Easter weekend, the JOC has activated all members of the security cluster including the local fire department, traffic, law enforcement, private security and ambulance services. Additionally, drones will be used on beaches to promote safety over the break. This is a welcomed step in promoting safety in our rural communities.”
“As the Department of Community Safety, we conduct oversight over SAPS in the Western Cape. We do so through the Western Cape Police Ombudsman and through our Court Watching Brief unit. However, I envision the Department’s role as being broader than that and further including the safety of residents in the Western Cape, which we promote through neighbourhood watches, community police forums and the rural safety plans. Going forward we will further be promoting safety through the deployment of additional law enforcement officers, implementing Area-Based Teams, and deploying 1000 youth safety ambassadors,” said Minister Fritz.
Minister Fritz continued, “Presently, the Department supports this bustling Municipality through its District Municipality Safety plan which we have formulated in partnership with one another. Through the rural safety plans, we transfer funding to the municipalities so that they can employ additional law enforcement officers. In this particular municipality, we have further used their Safety Plan to support its K-9 Unit.”
On 7 October 2021, Minister Fritz visited Moorreesburg and 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 unit consists of handlers and dogs, which have been especially trained to assist law enforcement operations in combating the trade and transportation of illicit narcotics.
As such, the Department has availed R1.1 million towards the implementation of the West Coast District Municipality’s Safety Plan in the 2019/20 financial year, has earmarked R2.1 million in 2020/21 and R2.3 million in 2021/22. A further R 2.4 million has been earmarked in 2022/23 for the implementation of their Safety Plan.
The Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ivan Meyer, said, “I am pleased to note that the West Coast Easter Safety Plan makes provision for a rural safety plan that it includes farm watches. By doing so the Easter JOC will support all the relevant agencies to ensure a coordinated response to safety issues. It is an example of partnership and collaboration in action.
Minister Meyer continued, “Thank you to Agri Western for keeping our rural communities safe. An attack on a farmer is an attack on the economy. The West Coast is ready to ensure the constitutional right to safety of the people of the Western Cape. This is the first holistic, coordinated whole of society approach by the district - a first for the Western Cape and indeed South Africa.”