Premier commends authorities for response to national "shutdown" | Western Cape Government



Premier commends authorities for response to national "shutdown"

20 March 2023

Media release: Premier commends law enforcement agencies, disaster management and emergency personnel for coordinated response to protests

Premier Alan Winde commended all law enforcement agencies, disaster management staff and emergency responders for working so hard to ensure that the nationwide protests did not descend into anarchy in the Western Cape.

Law enforcement and emergency services officials have been holding regular meetings since late last week to stay abreast of the situation and to coordinate their response. Despite attempts to block major roads in some parts of the Western Cape and sporadic incidents of stone-throwing, all districts reported these were minor and dealt with accordingly.

The Premier said, “We were well prepared ahead of today and this was evident in how law enforcement agencies, from the South African Police Service (SAPS) to municipal law enforcement, as well as the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) closely coordinated their operations with other emergency services and community-based structures. We all worked together, sharing resources, to ensure our province and citizens were safe.”

Premier Winde hailed Provincial Police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile and his team, as well as all other law enforcement bodies, for working hand-in-hand with the provincial government and municipalities. “Through our solid partnership with the SAPS we upheld the rule of law. I would also like to thank WCG staff who reported for duty today to serve our citizens,” he added.

Last week the Western Cape High Court granted the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Government (WCG) an interdict to prevent unlawful protests, incitement to violence and intimidation, and damage to property. 

The WCG’s intervention was aimed at extending the interdict beyond Cape Town’s municipal boundaries. This was a successful deterrent to protesters from resorting to violence.

The Premier concluded, “If we are able to successfully coordinate our safety and emergency response resources to respond to significant threats and risks like we did today, we must and should repeat this generally in our fight against crime. Coordinated, data-driven and responsive enforcement should be our standard approach to tackling crime every day in this province. I will be engaging with Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile about how we can take the insights from today and apply in our fight against crime.”

Should members of the public witness any acts of violence or intimidation, they are urged to contact law enforcement or the WCG through the following ways:

Call Centre: 0860 142142