Province and City Ready for CeaseFire
Statement by Alfred Fritz, Minister of Western Cape's Department of Community Safety
"My first day in office took me to Hanover Park to address, amongst others, the issue of gang violence. It is an issue that robs many citizens across the Cape Flats of the right to live free from the fear of crime, and particularly violent crime."
"Shortly afterwards, the Western Cape government, together with the City of Cape Town, announced that we would be piloting the CeaseFire model, which is successfully being used to address gang violence in Chicago and other parts of the world, in Hanover Park."
"Since then, there has been much work behind the scenes to secure the funding, exchange ideas and do the necessary research. I am pleased that by the end of June, the Province and the City, in a joint venture, will be bringing the CeaseFire crew back to Cape Town to roll out a two-week training programme that will allow us to learn and adapt the model to our particular circumstances."
"The process involves recruiting violence interrupters, who have credibility with street gangs and, after significant training, will be able to impact in such a way that even if there is a shooting incident, it is nipped in the bud before it becomes an all-out war that rages for days, claiming several lives. First prize, however, would be to intervene before any violence breaks out. Critical to the success of this project is that the right people are identified to be recruited as violence interrupters who aim to limit the violence that is associated with the gang culture."
"CeaseFire will be rolled out as an extension of the City's VPUU (Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrade) programme, and will be launched as a pilot in Hanover Park, Gugulethu and Manenberg by September this year."
"I am very excited about what can be achieved and my Department is committed to working with the City, SAPS and Metro Police to collectively increase safety, one neighbourhood at a time."