First Day on the Job Takes Me Back to Where I Started
Today marked my first day in office as the Western Cape Minister of Community Safety. Having grown up in Hanover Park, it was even more significant that my first appointment today saw me address a group of key stakeholders at the Hanover Park Youth Gang Intervention Project, spearheaded by the Department of Community Safety.
This workshop, which involved role players from the SAPS , CPF , religious leaders, NGOs , Western Cape Education Department, the Department of Cultural affairs and Sport, as well as a few concerned members of the community, was focused on unpacking the contributing factors to gangsterism, as well as paving the way forward, in combating gangsterism in the area.
In my address I noted that simply treating the symptoms is not sustainable and will never eradicate the problem of drugs and gangsterism in the community. Cooperative governance and a multi-sectoral approach is exactly what is needed if we are to address the root causes of drug addiction, gangsterism and the resultant crime.
Together with the community leaders in Hanover Park, we aim to implement the gang strategy of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape, which will see opportunities and choices extended to our youth. If we are to get through to the youth at risk, it is imperative, that they have choices and options, which will result in opportunities for education, opportunities for jobs and ultimately the opportunity to break free from the bonds of poverty.
I am confident that this strategy which will be more proactive than reactive, in addressing the causes of crime, rather than just policing it once a crime has been committed, is a huge step in the right direction.
The community of Hanover Park may be poor economically, but they are rich in leadership, vision and values which are essential ingredients to ensuring that a holistic approach is taken when we address the multiple factors and causes of crime. This is evident in the commitment they have shown to working with key stakeholders and taking responsibility and initiative in addressing the problems they face.
I have committed my department to doing everything in our power to facilitate the process of helping the parents and leaders of Hanover Park to fight gangsterism and in so doing, extend opportunities to their children, to better their lives.