Department of Community Safety Budget Speech 2013 | Western Cape Government

Speeches

Department of Community Safety Budget Speech 2013

26 March 2013

Through the Whole of Society, We Can Increase Safety in the Western Cape 

I: Introduction

Speaker, the Western Cape Government has, as one of its strategic objectives, to increase safety for all of our communities. By Increasing Safety, we aim to make every community in the province a safe place to live, work, learn, relax and move about. A safe place is closely linked to a person’s freedom – the freedom to move around, relax and work and the freedom to do so without fear. This is freedom you can use. And this is what we are working very hard to achieve – through a proactive rather than a reactive approach.

The total budget of the Department of Community Safety for the 2013/2014 financial year is R388,5 million, which represents an increase of 6,57%. Speaker we are using this budget to make the Western Cape safer, through partnerships, through innovation, and through sustainable interventions.

Our broader safety strategy looks at the whole of society - mobilising the resources, knowledge, creativity and concern of all role-players – including all spheres of government, civil society, business, and individual citizens – to build safe communities on a partnership basis. Our motto, Better Together, is one that we live.

As the Premier said in her State of the Province Address a few weeks ago, “there is no other area in the province where the “whole of society” approach has a more important role to play than in tackling crime and violence.”

We have challenged the way safety is traditionally thought about and have conceptually shifted our approach and instead emphasised prevention. To give you some examples, the norm has been to think that institutions are responsible for safety within their boundaries - we say that institutions are responsible for the safety of people who use them – within and beyond their boundaries.

Historically safety has been viewed as the responsibility of security professionals and the police only. We say that safety is everyone’s responsibility and that there is an important role that can be found in a great diversity of actors to promote safety. Take for example, grime. It is well documented that grime attracts crime – a dirty, graffiti-laden, littered dark alleyway says this space is not governed and provides the opportunity for crime. The opposite is also true - a clean, positively occupied, well looked after space gives the opposite message and opportunities for crime are removed.

The Broken Windows principle is one that is used and promoted by Community Improvement Districts (CIDs). Urban design also has an important role to play and is one of the focus areas of the Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrade (the VPUU) and particularly relevant to the City of Cape Town as the World Design Capital next year.

Speaker, in order to achieve our strategic objective of making our province a safer place, the Department of Community Safety is focussing on four major policy thrusts. My speech will focus on these four areas to illustrate to this house and to the public the kind of projects and programmes that we are using our resources and budget towards. These projects and programmes give life to our strategy and will be the vehicle that will drive us towards our destination of a safer Western Cape for all.

The first area is that of effective oversight, because we believe that proper oversight can act as a catalyst for better policing for the people of this province. This is also a very important area, because provinces have a constitutional responsibility to conduct this oversight role.

The second is increasing safety on our roads which demands the tireless work of our traffic officers and the collaborative effort with the Department of Transport on our Safely Home campaign, as well as with municipal traffic services and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The third area is maximising the safety contribution of the Western Cape Government buildings and institutions. With thousands of spaces that the Province is responsible for, the potential for these places and spaces to contribute to safer environments cannot be underestimated.

The final focus area is partnerships. All of the focus areas have a whole-of-society element to them, but strengthening community safety partnerships is where the whole of society thinking is most evident.

Each of these focus areas also takes into account certain principles. These include forward looking to get the future right rather than repairing the past. It includes identifying what happened that enabled the problem to occur and what can be done to reduce the likelihood of this happening again. Prevention is key.

Speaker, any crime requires a motivated actor, an opportunity and a conducive environment. While we might not be able to change the mindset of a motivated actor, we can reduce the opportunities for crime, and we can focus on fixing our environments - this will reduce the availability of that motivated actor from committing a crime.

II: Improving Policing through Civilian Oversight

Speaker, we are focusing our efforts on programmes that support our Constitutional mandate, namely oversight over the police, in order to improve policing in the province. We are challenging the convention that we are powerless to change the police.

We believe that through effective models of oversight that are in compliance with Provincial Constitutional powers, service delivery by the police can indeed be improved.

Oversight can act as a catalyst for improved police efficiency and that is what we are after – better policing for the people of this province. It is an understatement to say that the South African Police Service (SAPS) is going through hard times.

Looking at the fiasco with the original investigating officer assigned to the Reeva Steenkamp murder case, it is time that the SAPS understand that there are some serious systemic problems within the service that need to be addressed. A report, released by the Public Service Commission during the past financial year found that detectives at all three stations that were visited in this province, were dealing with workloads well in excess of the norm.

The norm, according to the report stands at 1:20, however stations reported docket allocations of 1:95 and even 1:132 and, according to the Community Police Forum in Hout Bay, the case allocation for each detective at the Hout Bay police station is 1:150.

The editorial in a recent Sunday Argus stated that the National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel had identified levels of skill, training and commitment amongst civil servants as a major cause for concern, calling at the same time for serious consequences to be visited upon state employees failing to live up to the public trust… but nowhere was this more resonant than in the case of the police.

Profoundly, that newspaper editorial said: “in the face of institutionalised incompetence, crime is never going to be beaten.”

The Editorial in the City Press on 17 March said, and I quote, “Today, we do not trust police sufficiently to teach children that they should seek out police officers if they are in trouble.”

When a national newspaper’s editorial makes a statement such as this one, it would suggest that something is seriously wrong with the service that is meant to protect us.

Speaker, we however firmly believe that with the help of proper oversight - which includes promoting good relations between communities and police- these systemic problems can be identified, and fixed. We do not want to look back and blame, we want to look forward and fix the future so that we have better police and together, we can in fact beat crime. 

As part of the Western Cape Government’s oversight function we have started instituting Watching Briefs at courts to identify systemic failures in policing, with a particular focus on gang-related crimes. Watching briefs are undertaken by a team of trained legal experts in the department or university post-graduate law students under the leadership of one of our senior advocates. They attend court cases, observe and report on the proceedings.

A man, accused of murder – a murder which was classified a Schedule 6 offence because the accused appeared on a murder charge which was allegedly committed whilst he was out on bail for another crime, was granted bail of R500 and the matter was postponed for 2 months. This case is an example of why so many around South Africa feel that the pillars of our criminal justice system are starting to crumble.

At the hearing, the investigating officer failed to turn up at court and by extension, the docket was not present either. The magistrate expressed his frustration at the tardiness of the SAPS official dealing with this case and instructed the prosecutor to contact the relevant SAPS station and warn that if the docket was not in court on 16 October 2012 he would strike the matter from the roll. Disturbingly, on 16 October the investigating officer once again failed to turn up for the hearing and the magistrate, as he had warned, struck the matter off the roll. The murder-accused was set free.

Cases like these are not only a travesty of justice for the victims of crime, but point to broader problems that need to be addressed. Had we not had one of our team sitting in that court-room, you would not be hearing this story today. But because we were exercising our oversight efficiently, and had our Department of Community Safety team present in that court-room, I can tell you today that this serious problem was raised with Police Commissioner General Lamoer and we now await this case being placed back on the court roll and remedial action against the police officer.

Speaker, now more than ever, effective oversight is needed and this is precisely why we need the Western Cape Community Safety Bill. The Bill is now in its final stages and will be debated in this house tomorrow. The Bill sets out how we, as a province, should be conducting oversight and will assist us to better do what we are constitutionally mandated to do.

After an initial round of public engagement by the Department, additional public hearings were held by the Western Cape Provincial Parliament recently and a range of comment was submitted on this pioneering legislation, and I am pleased that there has been enthusiastic engagement on this Bill.  

Safety concerns differ from province to province and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to crime. In fact, section 206 (2) of the Constitution explicitly provides for differing policing policies for different provinces, simply because each province has different needs when it comes to safety. 

This is why the Bill aims to improve the identification of the policing needs and priorities of our communities – making it more proactive –and which must be taken into account by the Minister of Police in the determination of national policing policy. We want to make this process not only more effective and holistic, but also more transparent by requiring that it be debated regularly in a multi-party forum in the Provincial Parliament.

Importantly, this Bill seeks to develop and introduce provincial police oversight models and to promote good relations between the police and communities to fix the future and be safer together - better together.

In last year’s Policing Needs and Priorities Report (PNP) report, we consulted with communities across the province and conducted a household survey with a sample size of 13 347 households, we invited CPFs from the twenty five (25) police precincts to take part in focus group discussions, and we conducted stakeholder interviews with leaders from business, the religious sector, farmers’ organisations, NGOs, research institutions and the Western Cape Community Police Board.

The report also included real performance information gathered during structured oversight visits, regular police station evaluations and information from Watching Briefs. Importantly, Police Minister Mthethwa has informed me that SAPS is considering our recommendation of including Domestic Violence as one of the crime categories reported on in the national crime statistics. The 2013 PNP report draft will be available shortly.

On the topic of crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) once a year, the Western Cape Department of Community Safety has now developed a system which uses alternative indicators of crime statistics and other crime information to compile a “shadow safety information report”. This information allows us to conduct multiple analyses with critical additional information needed for proactive responses. This information allows us to be more responsive, allocating our limited resources to where and when most needed and to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach to crime, allowing for localised responses according to the safety needs that exist in communities. The Premier has already made mention of this innovative project in her State of the Province Address in this house a few weeks ago. The next report is due in coming weeks and will focus on information gathered from the next-of-kin of murder victims, statistical forecast models and profiling the perpetrators of murder in the Western Cape. 

Another example of where the whole of society is in action in our oversight projects, is through the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) pilot project with the Community Police Forums (CPFs). The Department of Community Safety has developed a web-based Expanded Partnership Programme according to which the functions of CPFs, as stipulated in Section 18 of the South African Police Services Act, is translated into measurable standards of service delivery which in turn is linked to a funding model. This programme allows for CPFs to accumulate funds whilst performing their legal role.

It also allows for structured problem resolution, improved communication, focused training and other support interventions. The EPP programme has been piloted for a period of almost eighteen (18) months with thirty-two (32) CPFs throughout the province. During this period the programme was subjected to a full internal audit, extensive consultation took place with the SAPS, CPFs, and the Provincial CPF Board during the course of the pilot study.

Speaker, I am pleased to inform the house that the chairpersons of the five top performing CPFs (in terms of the number and quality of reports received) of the pilot study are:

  • Bishop Lavis – R17 930.26
  • Prince Albert – R13 284.65
  • Laingsburg – R12 391.36
  • Saron – R12 384.54
  • Lingelethu West – R12 279.75

A total of just over R 68 000.00 was paid out these CPFs which they then used for a number of projects. We have now set aside R4.5 million to roll-out the EPP programme to all 149 CPFs in the province – this is without doubt the biggest investment ever made into the functioning of CPFs at station level. 

III: Increasing road safety

Speaker, our second policy thrust is that of increasing road safety. The bulk of the Department’s budget, 52,3%, is allocated to the Provincial Traffic Service. The Western Cape is the only province to offer a 24-hour, 7 day a week service. The province employs 450 traffic officers, who patrol over 6500 km of tarred and over 10 000 km of gravel roads. Our men and women in blue literally work day and night to keep our roads safe.

At the Department’s service excellence awards this month, officers were praised for the good work done. I wish to highlight one of many examples for the benefit of the public. One of the awards went to an officer who risked his life removing a child from a burning car in the Knysna area after an accident between two vehicles. Mr Malgas removed the injured child from one of the vehicles that had caught fire and who had been trapped in the vehicle after the accident. 

The Western Cape Government is making our roads safer through traffic training and development, law enforcement and road safety management. But, speaker, our citizens have a responsibility to engage in safe road user behaviour, because it is through this kind of partnership that we can lessen the number of lives lost on our roads and make our roads safer for the people of the Western Cape and our visitors.

In terms of training, the Provincial Traffic Training College, the Gene Louw College is the only “A” grade traffic college in the Western Cape, which means that it can facilitate Traffic Officer training, Examiner for Driving Licences and Examiner of Vehicles training. This traffic college also enjoys full accreditation with SASSETA, RTMC and with SAPS as an official institution for firearm training.

With the introduction of the Traffic qualification in January 2011 as well as the demand for additional training – and resultant need to grow the staff compliment, we urgently needed to upgrade the facilities to meet the desired requirements and to enable the college to maintain its accreditation with the respective professional bodies and to ensure service excellence. Phase one of the upgrade has now been completed and the college was reopened last month.

This much needed upgrade - which I am happy to say is Eco friendly - boasts modernised office spaces and furniture, boardroom facilities, a full gymnasium, library resource centre and breakaway rooms to mention a few of the improvements. I hope that you will all be afforded the opportunity to see the lovely new facilities at our College.

As part of the strategy of the Centre for Learning Excellence it will be the first traffic college in South Africa to pioneer an e-learning training programme to our qualified traffic officers in the Western Cape. This will start in April 2013 and will form part of their Continuous Development Programme.

With regard to law enforcement, our provincial traffic service has numerous campaigns and enforcement plans in place to really maximise road safety and minimise loss of life. Some examples include the average speed over distance project, on the N1 between Laingsburg and Beaufort West, Beaufort West to Three Sisters as well as on the R27 West Coast Road.

This was done to curb the high speeds that have resulted in numerous fatalities over the past number of years. At the same time, Provincial Traffic has diverted back to the practice of manually stopping speedsters and issuing of on-the-spot fines.

Another project that has been welcomed by motorists is the Fatigue Management programme, where all public transport vehicles are stopped every evening between 20:00 - 08:00 in Beaufort West and in Laingsburg. Drivers who show signs of tiredness are asked to park vehicles and rest. Since 22 Dec 2011-13 March 2013, 24 736 vehicles were stopped and 2 838 were parked.

The impact of this project can be seen in the drastic reduction in public transport related fatalities on the notorious road of death. Over the two year period of 2010 - 2011, over 100 people lost their lives during those hours and this figure has significantly dropped to only six (6) fatalities in 2012.

I offer this government’s heart-felt condolences to the families and friends of the tragic, tragic bus accident near De Doors on 15 March. I went to the De Doorns crash scene to be with the survivors and community members that came to the scene and to share in their grief.  

Speaker, another great challenge we face in this province is alcohol and drug abuse. Most people living in the Western Cape are aware that we have no tolerance for drunk driving. Every weekend our traffic officers conduct twenty-four (24) roadblocks per weekend throughout the year where drivers are screened for the use of alcohol.

Every weekend, we screen between 4 500 and 5 000 drivers. Since we started the alcohol blitz roadblocks in April 2010 and up to latest period where information is available, our officers in conjunction with other law enforcement agencies have arrested 3 737 drivers.

Our officers have also recovered over R60 million worth of drugs and illegal substances on national routes. We are now training traffic officials on the identification of drugs as well as on the identification of illicit cigarettes and how these items are hidden in different modes of transport. This clearly shows the need for us to do much more than only traffic offence enforcement but also to address the use of our roads for other criminal activity and which can help curb drugs entering into our province.

This month has been identified as ‘drug free month’. Provincial Traffic has already confiscated four-hundred (400) mandrax tablets, fifteen (15) bags of dagga and eighteen (18) bundles of CAT in integrated operations with SAPS and Correctional Services while utilising their dog units. Having witnessed the value of incorporating the dogs in carrying out our duties, we are now working towards establishing our own dog unit to assist in fighting drug trafficking on national and provincial routes. I welcome this initiative and innovative approach to tackling the root cause of crime.  

Our Traffic services also employ the whole of society thinking in their endeavours. Learning license training is an example. The Department teaches and assists learners and the unemployed youth to acquire learner driving licenses - 849 learners have benefitted from this training this last year. We are now improving this project to not only provide lessons and materials but will sponsor the registration fees of about 1000 learners and unemployed youth in the next financial to write an official test at the Driver Learner Testing Centre and pay for their certificates once they pass.

Road safety is an excellent example of how the whole of society can make a difference. The change in driver behaviour together with government departments working together (Docs and Transport), and innovation have had a massive impact on our roads.

Most unfortunately, despite all these efforts and successes, we still see ghastly road crashes that rob lives.

IV: Maximising the Safety Contributions of WCG institutions, assets and people

The Department has revisited the security risk management function.  A paradigm shift assisted by the Provincial Strategic Objective 5 (PSO 5) Increasing Safety, has been initiated and informs developments within the security risk management domain.  To accommodate these developments, it has become necessary to revisit current systems and processes to demonstrate how safety and security can be enhanced by influencing planning processes. 

A detailed security diagnostic was conducted through a tender process to look at how the Provincial Government is dealing with security related issues currently and make recommendations on how security can be improved.

The diagnostic findings are to inform the development of a transversal security strategy for Provincial Government and due to be completed by the end of April. It is through the collective efforts of Departments and their respective staff that we will make our environments safer.

Over and above this, communities have a critical role to play to ensure that government services remain accessible to communities. Active citizenry must be encouraged. 

Accordingly the need has arisen for government resources applied in any given community, to be consolidated in such a manner that we are able to benefit from economies of scale. In addition our planning processes must increasingly emphasise that community ownership needs to be real in as far as our schools and hospitals are concerned. It will be a sad day when the cost of securing a health or education facility within a community deprives that community from health or education services which such facility is intended to provide.   

The planning and design of government facilities within communities will in future receive greater attention from a long term safety perspective.

V:  Whole of society community safety initiatives through partnerships

Partnerships, partnerships, partnerships. Speaker, I cannot emphasise our final policy focus area enough. This is where we concentrate whole of society community safety initiatives which are developed through partnerships. With no operational control over the police, our interventions are focused on creating safe, positive environments and communities in which crime is less likely to happen in the first place.

Again, this can be done through prevention by removing opportunities to commit crime, decreasing the motivation of offenders to commit crime and by removing the longer-term root causes of crime.

The Premier, shortly after taking office, said to this house that this government would create partnerships to promote community involvement in safety initiatives. We have embraced this whole-heartedly and have created exactly these kinds of partnerships to increase safety and prevent crime. Some examples include:

Neighbourhood Watches (NHW) have an important participatory role in the whole of society approach, and are crucial safety partners. Having said this, we now have a recorded 472 NHW structures with more than 38 000 volunteers. This year we shall focus on the development of models other than only providing NHW with basic training and equipment. We have revisited and developed a new NHW training programme to ensure that the principles of our Strategic Objective are embodied and take into account the unique safety needs of each community. This new training programme is being piloted in Saldanha and Prince Albert and will be rolled out in the next financial year.

In promoting a whole of society approach towards improving safety in the Western Cape, the Department of Community Safety has partnered with the religious community to assist with keeping our youth safe over the past festive season and upcoming school holidays. We allocated R1.5 million rand to the programme which ran from December until mid-January when schools re-opened.

The approach to this partnership was innovative in that the department did not prescribe to the religious community what the content of the programmes must be but allowed for each community to accommodate their own needs from playing sport to hip hop dancing – thus creating programmes for the community by the community. 

This partnership, a first of its kind, saw thirty-five (35) organisations across the Western Cape running youth development programmes for around 6 000 of our most vulnerable youth. We shall repeat it now during the April school holidays after which a full cost-benefit- analysis will be made

This partnership recognise the invaluable role played, over decades, by Faith based structures in all our communities in increasing safety. They are important partners and we want to hold hands with Churches, Mosques, Synagogues, temples, community halls, and every place of worship where good morals and values can be learned to help make our children and youth safe. This is an example of how communities and the Western Cape Government can form partnerships which are aimed at making us all safe – Because we are Better Together.

The success of the Chrysalis Academy in Youth Development and its valuable contribution in preventing and diverting our most vulnerable youth away from a potential life of crime is well known to the house.

The Chrysalis Youth Programme equips youth with skills for a trade and skills to help them on life’s journey. The three (3) month empowerment training interventions focus on the individual’s physical, emotional, mental, energetic and spiritual development. To our knowledge, this kind of youth intervention is unique.

The Chrysalis Programme is a preventative initiative, as opposed to rehabilitative. Over the last financial year, 501 youth will have graduated from the Academy. The Chrysalis Academy programme has grown from strength to strength and we have witnessed many students leave the Academy upon graduation and proceed to study at FET colleges. Many students have also been placed in internships at various Places of Safety. The Department of Community Safety has now successfully linked this youth programme to the National Expanded Public Works Programme which will see a cash injection of about R30 million into the programme over the MTEF period. Through this initiative the duration of the current programme shall be extended from 3 months training to nine (9) months. This will include a formal work placement of 6 months with many of our partners during which period these youngsters shall gain work experience and be introduced to a new world of opportunities.

During the festive season graduates of the programme were placed, with much success, at a number of partners most noticeable the City of Cape Town and City Improvement Districts. From the current intake of students who will be graduating next week, more than 90% will be placed with our partners to gain formal employment experience.

We are now discussing plans to expand the Chrysalis Academy programme to other areas and the introduction of a non-residential Chrysalis programme so that more young people in the province can access the opportunities on offer at the Chrysalis Academy. We are also exploring how to best ensure integration of this programme with other important youth programmes such as the Mass Participation, Access to Opportunity and Development (MOD) centres. Last year we introduced the Junior Instructors programme which saw ten (10) of the best Chrysalis Graduates being taken up in a three (3) months training programme as Instructors. We now envisage deploying them at our MOD centres supported by other graduates to initiate youth programmes for those communities by those communities whilst being funded by the department of community safety through the EPWP programme. 

City Improvement Districts are a vital player in the field of increasing safety for all the people in our communities, with twenty-four (24) CIDs operational throughout the Western Cape. Through the CIDs hundreds of people work to improve the areas in which we live and work and address the root causes of crime in a sustainable manner.

Partnerships are a big focus for the Western Cape Government and working with the City Improvement Districts is a perfect example of how working better together can benefit our societies in so many ways, because ultimately safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Through a whole-of-society approach we can win the war against crime, and this war starts by mobilising the youth. When our learners graduate from high school, go on to study at a tertiary institution and as a result are in a much better position to find employment, the opportunities that are open to them become far more than the uneducated, unemployed youth. It is for this reason that we have piloted a project with FET colleges, with Northlink College where DoCS facilitated the registration process for learners in disadvantaged communities to take advantage of bursary opportunities. The aim is to help learners who failed to complete matric to return and complete a matric-level education.

Those that already completed matric are encouraged to learn a trade, like carpentry, plumbing, construction, diesel mechanic and many others. We went to see youth across the province, Maneneberg, Nyanga, Lavender Hill, Robertson, Touws River, Ashton, Worcester and Wesbank, to name a few. We had over a thousand people come to learn about these opportunities. During the month of April, we will visit Bredasdorp, Elsies River, Joe Slovo and others with Northlink College to reach out to the most vulnerable youth to steer them away from drugs and gangs and to provide them with real opportunities.

During the month of May, I will be visiting the ten (10) areas in the Province which reported the highest numbers of Domestic Violence and rape cases and host public meetings with the local police, religious sector, residents to work towards a solution to these horrific crimes. Speaker, we must speak out against these horrifying crimes against our women and children and we must engage with our communities so that together we can prevent these types of crimes from happening. 

Last, but certainly not least, is The Safety Lab. This is a project that was conceptualised through the Western Cape Government’s Strategic Objective 5: increasing safety. It is currently funded by my Department and embodies the ideals of partnership and across society thinking. It is a new, small team of five (5) highly skilled professionals in its first year of existence.

The Safety Lab is an experimental organisation that drives innovation in safety and security, through partnerships and by connecting entities and people that can collaborate to increase safety. They are currently working on a handful of safety ideas and projects.

One of the Safety Lab’s first projects is the CCTVision project. The Safety Lab collaborated with the City of Cape Town to launch a creative way to increase awareness and prevent low-contact crimes, such as remote jamming. The project uses footage from the City’s CCTV cameras in an interesting, informative comic-style booklet. The campaign provides clear, actionable advice on how one can significantly reduce the chance of becoming a victim of this type of crime. In essence it helps citizens to reduce opportunities for crime to occur.

Fifty thousand copies of the booklet have been distributed on street corners and at public transport hubs to date. Almost ten thousand of these were handed out by metro police officers, giving them an opportunity to engage with the public and thereby promote good community-police relations.

VI: Conclusion

Speaker, we have moved from design, to pilot in the last year. We are now moving into our learning and roll-out year and as we progress towards our Strategic Objective, the successes become more and more apparent.

We are being creative with our limited resources to benefit society as much as possible and on a localised level. We are very mindful that there is no one size fits all approach to safety and that each community, each safety problem has its unique causes and also its unique solutions. Local context can and should never be underestimated and this is why partnerships are so important. Partners help us with local understandings and solutions so that our responses are ones that actually work.

Speaker, I am very pleased to say that we are achieving all of this with sound financial management. The Department of Community Safety has received three (3) clean audits in a row which is worthy of great applause.

In conclusion, I wish to say thank you to Dr Lawrence for his leadership and custodianship of this department. Dr Lawrence has been a fine accounting officer and has turned this Department around from a catastrophic financial position in 2008 to one of the Western Cape Government’s gold stars. I also thank our CFO, Mr Frizlar for ensuring sound financial controls, making the clean audits possible.

I wish to thank the Chief Directors, Mr Morris, Mr Steyn, Mr Africa and Mr George. The contributions you make to this Department and your leadership in guiding this Department to a more efficient, innovative and results-driven entity is remarkable. Much work is yet to be done, but with a team like this, we have nothing to worry about. A special thanks to Adv JC Gerber and his team.

I thank each staff member that has been a shining example of excellence to ensure safer communities, safer roads and a better administration for all the people of the Western Cape.

There are many staff members that show exceptional commitment, excellence in service delivery and have achieved outstanding results that have impacted on the department, community members and their work colleagues. I thank the staff in the Ministry for being these exceptional persons.

I would like to thank the CEO of the Chrysalis Academy Ms Lucille Meyer and her team for the great service they are providing to our youth.

I thank my Cabinet colleagues and the Premier for their support and fellowship. Thanks to the South African Police Service, under the guidance of General Lamoer – to those outstanding police officers who put their lives on the line to protect and serve us all. I can safely say that everyone in this house is grateful. My thanks to the metro police under Mr Richard Bosman for their important and efficient service to the people of Cape Town. Special thanks to Ald Smith and the Safety & Security Directorate of the City with whom we enjoy a great work ethic. I thank them for their willingness to partner with us on so many projects.

I thank the members of the Standing Committee that keep us on our toes and exercise oversight over the Department – similarly I must say a word of thanks to the members of the media that hold us accountable and keep the public informed about what our Department is doing.

Great thanks are also due to each member of the public that volunteers their time to participate in neighbourhood watch structures, in CPFs and in numerous other community safety initiatives. You are the true champions in society.

Lastly, I wish to thank my family for their continued support and understanding. This position requires sacrifice on their part and I am not always afforded enough time with them as my work requires me to be with the people of the province – which have become my other family.

Thank you.  

Media Enquiries: 

Greg Wagner

Spokesperson for Dan Plato, Minister of Community Safety
Western Cape Government
Cell: 072 623 4499