MEC Fritz calls on Neighbourhood Watches to assist in maintaining peace
Today, the Minister of Community Safety in the Western Cape, Adv. Albert Fritz, joined Member of the Provincial Legislature, Ricardo McKenzie, and neighbourhood watches in Lentegeur and Woodlands in Mitchells Plain for their morning patrols. The purpose of the visit was to invite all neighbourhood watches to join in the efforts to maintain law and order in Western Cape.
Minister Fritz said, “I want to thank all neighbourhood watch members who have committed to assisting authorities by being the eyes and ears of SAPS and other law enforcement agencies. I want to thank members for stepping up and for taking ownership of their communities. Last night we saw a neighbourhood watch stop an isolated, attempted looting of a mall by a small group. SAPS were quickly called, and the risk adverted. So neighbourhood watches have an incredibly important role to play.”
As of this morning, the Western Cape had seen no public violence linked to the protests and looting seen in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal. There, significant damage and loss to private and public property has been reported.
Minister Fritz continued, “Public violence disadvantages everybody, especially the people living in the community. If you burn down the clinic in your area, it means you have to travel far when you are in need of medical assistance. It is your community – your actions will have consequences for your own life. If you loot and burn down a shop, you are destroying the jobs and livelihoods which that business generates for your own community members.”
Minister Fritz concluded, “I want to thank the Provincial Commissioner Gen. Patekile and the SAPS, as well as Provincial Traffic, the City of Cape Town and LEAP Officers, who have all rallied together to ensure that our streets are safe. I want to encourage all citizens to be vigilant: take ownership of your community. Join your neighbourhood watch and support organized efforts to assist SAPS and law enforcement in being their eyes and ears. And if you have any information that can assist SAPS, especially information pertaining to the organization of public violence, please report this information to SAPS.”