Update by Western Cape Government following unrest in some parts of South Africa
“The Western Cape Government, SAPS and other security services are working closely together to ensure law and order is maintained in province”
Today, the expanded provincial cabinet met to receive a special briefing by the provincial leadership of the South African Police Service, led by the Provincial Commissioner, Lt. General Patekile, on its preparation to respond to public unrest in the Western Cape.
Lt. General Patekile confirmed, as he did again during the digital press conference hosted this afternoon, that the Western Cape has recorded no incidents of looting and that there is relative calm.
A detailed, multi-pronged strategy has been put in place to respond to all potential risks, and to ensure the necessary SAPS resources to maintain law and order in our communities. Additional resources have already been deployed to potential hotspots, and the SAPS have assured a quick response to any attempt to undermine law and order in the Western Cape.
Premier Alan Winde said: “The Western Cape Government, SAPS, the City’s Metro Police, Law Enforcement officers, Traffic Officers, as well as other security services are working closely together to ensure that the rule of law is maintained in the Western Cape. I want to again reiterate my call to all our residents to remain calm, to reject violence and incitement, and to respect the law. We are busy fighting a deadly third wave of COVID-19 infections, while trying to roll-out life-saving vaccines. We must make sure we can continue with this important work, so that we save both lives and jobs.”
The Provincial Minister of Community Safety, Adv Albert Fritz concurred: "I would like to appeal to all our citizens to remain calm at this time. The provincial authorities have everything under control. We appeal to you to please respect the rule of law and allow the SAPS and law enforcement agencies to do their jobs. If you have any information that can assist the SAPS, especially information about where public violence will be organized, please pass this on to SAPS directly.”
“The Western Cape Government urges residents to refrain from sharing fake news”
Both the Western Cape Government and SAPS have noted an increase in fake news regarding looting in the province being shared. This is a concern to us both as is it undermines the ability of law enforcement to respond quickly and effectively.
Premier Winde continued: “While I appreciate that many residents are concerned and are on high alert because of public violence in KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng, I urge residents in the Western Cape to refrain from sharing unverified news which is either spurious or outrightly false. There has been no looting in the Western Cape, and those malls that have closed have done so as a precautionary measure. It is important that we do not fall prey to false or inaccurate information, and I urge the public to be wary of fake news that finds its way to you through social media, including WhatsApp.”
You can help us stop fake news by:
- Getting your updates from official Government channels including websites, social media platforms, and press releases.
- Making use of trusted and accredited media sources.
- Fact-checking all information sent to you.
- If you receive something which you suspect is inaccurate, delete the content and do not reshare it further.
- Should you receive information relating to possible unrest, I urge you to first refer this to your local accredited neighbourhood watch or to call the SAPS. This can be done by calling 0860010111.
“The Western Cape Government will use all powers vested in it to protect commuters”
The Western Cape Government remains concerned about ongoing taxi violence between CATA and Codeta, which again resulted in the loss of three lives today and some disruption to commuters in the province.
Provincial Minister of Transport and Public Works, Daylin Mitchell condemned the latest killings, which now brings the total number of taxi-related murders to 76 since the beginning of January 2021.
“I intend to use all powers available to me as a provincial MEC to ensure the safety of commuters in the province. To this effect, my Department has briefed Counsel to urgently approach the Courts to stop the cycle of violence between CATA and Codeta, by interdicting CATA and Codeta from recruiting and/encouraging illegal operators on routes that are signed to their affiliate associations” said Minister Mitchell.
Minister Mitchell continued: “I have also signed and published a notice in terms of Section 91 of the National Land Transport Act in which will enable me to close certain routes and or ranks, should I, in consultation with SAPS, assess that the lives of commuters are at risk. I am awaiting public comment on this, thereafter I will apply my mind and make a decision. I will not hesitate to act in the interests of our commuters if CATA and Codeta do not cease this violence immediately.”
“My department continues to have independent mediators on call to assist CATA, Codeta and SANTACO, if they wish to sit down and find common ground. It is in the interests of all involved, and most importantly the commuter which relies on taxi services, to ensure that lasting peace is maintained, and that this violence ends immediately” concluded Minister Mitchell.