By Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety:
For the 6th consecutive year running, the Department of Community Safety (DoCS) has achieved a clean audit outcome from the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA), while delivering effective safety oversight and interventions in the province.
The Annual Report of the Department tabled in the Provincial Parliament today is a testament to the hard work, dedication and commitment to safety that Head of Department Gideon Morris and every single employee of the department has made to help create safer environments in our province.
It reflects the challenges we have faced and the successes we have achieved, going beyond the normal call of duty to stay responsive to the growing safety demands of communities across the province.
We have overachieved on numerous indicators, including:
- 1 153 more first level oversight visits to stations by the CPFs than the planned 1 600 target;
- 143 more cases monitored by the Watching Briefs unit than the planned 100; and
- Training of an additional 448 Neighbourhood Watch members above the 1 500 planned.
I thank each and every employee for their commitment to building safer communities in our province, in partnership with the communities we serve.
The past year has seen several national firsts for innovative safety oversight by a province:
- The establishment of the office of the Western Cape Provincial Police Ombudsman, and appointment of Adv. Vusi Pikoli, to investigate policing inefficiency complaints from communities or the possible breakdown of the relationship between communities and the police.
- The conclusion of the work into the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry into allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in the relations between the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the community of Khayelitsha.
- The expansion of our Youth Safety and Religious Partnership programme to a total of 70 areas due to increasing demand.
- Initiating youth safety outreaches such as educational and training opportunities in our Chrysalis Academy and through our partnership with Northlink FET College.
While there is much to celebrate, there is always room for improvement.
I look forward to even greater partnerships with the police, our communities and other government departments as we continue to work towards safer environments where people live and work.
The Department of Community Safety will remain steadfast in our oversight mandate over policing in the province with the sole aim of improving safety services for all in the Western Cape.