At today’s Cabinet meeting, chaired by Premier Alan Winde, major issues affecting the lives of citizens including crime and transport were high on the agenda.
Cabinet noted that this week is Child Protection Week and called on community members to contribute towards child safety by being vigilant, reporting cases of suspected abuse and acting to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez said: “We need to work together to ensure that our children are safe and kept out of harm’s way. The protection of children is something that we must be driving all year round and requires action from the whole of society. All of us need to be doing far more to prevent cases of child abuse, neglect and murders.”
Cabinet members also held a focused discussion on safety issues in the province and the impact of crime on our communities.
Said Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz: “Over the past week, we have had four incidences of children being shot at, with three fatally wounded. The total inadequacy of our police services has left our residents exposed and allowed gangs to thrive. We have also significantly bolstered our Neighbourhood Watches with resources, and will be looking at further investments to capacitate these brave community men and women in the coming year.”
There have also been incidences of violence in our rural areas, with two murders in recent weeks.
Said Minister of Agriculture, Ivan Meyer: “The provincial government has established an inter-ministerial committee on rural safety which will amongst others be looking at a review and update of our rural safety plan. Tomorrow, the Premier and I will be meeting with Agri Western Cape to discuss the issue further. Working with Community Safety, we will also be expanding our Watching Briefs court case monitoring to rural cases, to ensure criminals are not let off by poor court processes.”
Premier Winde said: “It’s been 30 days since we declared an inter-governmental dispute with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and we have not yet heard from the Minister. We will continue to drive this dispute and are looking at the next steps available to us. Making this province safer for our citizens is of utmost importance to us and we will continue to put pressure on the SAPS to ensure service delivery.”
On transport, Cabinet discussed the requirement for the urgent resolution of the suspension of the MyCiti express route between Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain.
Minister of Transport and Public Works, Bonginkosi Madikizela, said: “The suspension of the service has left many commuters stranded which affects not only their livelihoods but our entire economy. We welcome news that commuters will be refunded but we also require an urgent resolution to the problem. A working and stable economy requires a functional transport system to ensure that people are able to get to work, and in my daily discussions with the Mayor he has given assurances that the City is working as hard as possible to resolve this matter. “
Finally, during the meeting, Cabinet welcomed the appointment of the members of the Standing Committees. Members were pleased to note that the ANC had accepted the DA-led provincial parliament’s offer to chair the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).
“I would like to wish Mr Luluma Mvimbi well in his new role and we look forward to him holding us to account,” Premier Winde said.
Further updates on safety and transport will follow from the Ministers leading these portfolios.