Remarks by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, at the release of the Northern Cape Crime Stats for the 2018/19 financial year

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Programme Director
MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Ms Nontobeko Vilakazi
Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Shivuri
Members of the South African Police Services
Government officials
Members of the media
Ladies and gentlemen

The Northern Cape Provincial Government notes the crime statistics presented by the South African Police Services. I want to commend the team for a very clear and concise presentation on the eagerly awaited statistics.

We are all aware that crime does not only impact on the safety and wellbeing of our people but it seriously threatens the economic development of our Province as a whole. The release of the crime statistics therefore provides a barometer to measure whether we are on the right track to ensure the safety, security and development of or people. It also provides us with crucial statistics and indicators on where we need to improve to ensure that we serve protect and develop not only our people, but communities in general.

Proactive Crime prevention therefore lays a solid foundation in the eradication and fight against crime and criminality. Active community involvement in the fight against crime and the promotion of peace and stability is of cardinal importance. The success in building safer communities requires a partnership approach between government, communities, businesses and non-governmental organisations to work together in a coordinated way to develop and implement strategies to address the short and long term causes of crime. Well-planned interventions can prevent crime and victimisation, promote community safety and make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of vibrant communities.

As a means of addressing this, the South African Police Services in conjunction with communities, launched the Northern Cape Community Policing Strategy during September this year in De Aar.  The Community Policing Strategy is the culmination of both high level and grass roots community engagements that focus on improving policing through the involvement of community members. It is built on the premise that we can only provide a crime free province by prioritizing the safety and security needs of our communities. This will be done through active community policing, crime prevention activities and consultation. Closer collaboration and responses will also be forged with all Departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster and other organs of state.

A central component of the strategy will be outreach work, especially at schools and places where young people are, where we can arm our youth to build resistance to delinquency and an awareness of danger. Programmes will include awareness campaigns on elderly abuse, human trafficking, substance abuse, bullying and Gender Based Violence.

As Government we acknowledge the relationship between poverty, inequality, unemployment and crime and its impact on safety outcomes. According to the White Paper on Safety and Security (2016), there is substantial evidence that those who live in poverty are more vulnerable to be either perpetrators or victims of crime. Our programmes as this Administration together with SAPS will include:

  • Dialogues on alcohol abuse as a root cause of contact crime;
  • Youth Dialogues on the role of youth in the prevention of crime;
  • A Women’s Manyano on awareness of women abuse and sexual offences;
  • Weekends of Sobriety campaigns to encourage communities to drink responsibly and
  • Sport against Crime as an alternative to substance abuse.  

I do not wish to repeat what has been presented here today, only to state that as the Executive and save to say, the entire community of the Northern Cape; we are concerned that crime and criminality still finds a home to flourish in our province.

Ladies and gentlemen, it has been proven on many an occasion that at the centre of crime, whether serious or petty, is the issue of drugs and other mind altering substances. The drug trade has grown in leaps and bounds the past few years and this has the potential to completely destroy the future of our young people. At this rate there is a diminished possibility of young people becoming the leaders they are destined to be. For this reason the Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy will prioritise programmes including community safety partnerships, anti-substance abuse, prevention of violence against vulnerable groups, prevention of fraud and corruption and an improved criminal justice system. Provincial Government is coordinating the effective implementation of these programmes through different structures such as the Provincial Substance Abuse Forum, Provincial Development Committee and Provincial Joint teams. I want to implore you to double our efforts in the fight against drug dealers and the easy accessibility to these damaging substances.

We also call upon our communities and especially the young people to be weary of the pitfalls of substance abuse. We plead with our people to report not only drug dealers in their communities but to take hands with the police and the community policing forums and make our communities crime free, drug free and prosperous communities where all can live, learn and work in safety. Similarly so I want to request that the South African Police Services deal extremely harsh with members of the force who are found to be in cahoots with these unscrupulous merchants of pain and suffering. We are killing a generation and as peace officers the punishment should be so much more extreme if found to be wandering to the dark side of crime.

As this sixth Administration, we articulated a vision of a modern, growing and successful Province. We therefore want to call on SAPS to work closer with other stakeholders in curbing the illegal entry of undocumented foreign nationals. We noted in this presentation again that some foreign nationals are complicit in crimes committed in our Province and this will have a direct link to the growth and development of our province. If we start with doing the small things right we will inculcate a culture of excellence in our police officers tasked with protecting and serving the people. It will also go a long way instilling public confidence in the police and to boost investor confidence.

We also note the rise in community protests more specifically during the run up to the past elections. We recognise the right of people to air their grievances and to protest but this must be done within the confines of the law and should not be used as an opportunity to break the law. The police must act and act decisively and within their mandate to protect the property of the state and people and also ensure the safety of our citizens. Your efforts will not be criticised as long as this is done within the confines of the law.  

I want to conclude by making a plea to community members to join hands with Government, in the fight against crime. The building of a safe and secure Northern Cape will always be the cornerstone of the work that this Provincial Government along with the South African Police Services will carry out daily. It is driven by our deep conviction that no citizen can ever fully enjoy and realise their freedoms, unless such freedoms are underpinned by the constitutionally guaranteed right to safety and a safe environment. Families, especially women and children, must be allowed to strive in an environment unhindered by the scourge of crime that robs them of their right to live in peace, safety and harmony with one another.

We encourage and support SAPS to continue to occupy the central space in efforts to provide leadership to communities in the fight against crime. Let us remain committed and resolute to put an end to violence and crime. For us to build a modern, growing and successful Province of the Northern Cape we need all hands on deck to realise safe, secure and prosperous communities. Please keep on doing what you do best and may the hard work each and every police officer puts in every day ensure that we see a drastic improvement in our fight against crime when we meet again.

I thank you

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