Western Cape Government empowers NHWs via Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer
Joint Media Release by Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo
Today, Neighbourhood Watch members of Town 2, Khayelitsha, were empowered with equipment and certification today, following their completion of an accredited First Aid Skills course.
They are among first of many neighbourhood watches in the province who underwent this training, in partnership with the Western Cape Government.
Western Cape Minister of Community Safety, Dan Plato, and Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, were both present for the handover.
In total, 10 members of the Neighbourhood Watch received their Level 1 First Aid Training certificates, as well as equipment. The training was conducted at Tygerberg Hospital, by the provincial Health Department.
A further 15 members received their additional Grade D and E security officer training certificate.
First Aid training, together with the Safety Kiosk deployed as a visible base of safety in Town 2, empowers the Neighbourhood Watch with an immediate contact point for individuals who have been injured. Immediate interim support is provided until emergency services are able to respond.
This is a key part of our Alcohol Harms Reduction Game Changer, as much of the interpersonal violence in communities is related to alcohol use. Through this programme, Neighbourhood Watch members are being empowered with the necessary skills, equipment and support to provide holistic safety services to the communities they serve, including First Aid.
The game changer falls under Provincial Strategic Goal (PSG 3) - ‘Increasing wellness, safety and tackling social ills’. The Western Cape Department of Community Safety has been mandated by the provincial Cabinet to take the lead on the game changer.
Alcohol related harm is destroying lives in the province, tearing apart the social fabric necessary to form resilient communities, and promote socio-economic development.
Change at both policy level and community level is being pursued by the Western Cape government. The aim is to reduce violent injuries and fatalities caused by alcohol in targeted areas, through partnerships and a whole-of-society approach. We cannot do this without the cooperation and support from our communities.
The project will be rolled out within the 2016/17 financial year. The three locations for the first phase are: Khayelitsha (Lingelethu-West), Gugulethu and Nyanga (Ward 39) and Drakenstein, Paarl East (Smartie Town and Fairyland).
Coordinated law enforcement with all safety stakeholders in a community is a big part of this programme.
To this end, Minister Plato also launched the Walking Bus initiative for the Town 2 Khayelitsha area. Walking Bus is a partnership with local safety groups to create a supervised route for learners to and from school every day. Community members offer their time to protect learners by escorting them in a “walking bus” formation.
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Through community activation and partnerships, such as the empowerment of our Neighbourhood Watches and Walking Bus initiatives, safer communities can be achieved.
Spokesperson to Minister Dan Plato
Cell: 079 694 1113
Spokesperson to Minister Mbombo
Cell: 076 171 5978