Yesterday, the Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, hosted a community meeting in Strand following the numerous attacks which took place on the N2 over the past weekend. Here, the various safety stakeholders voiced their concerns; and short to long term strategies were outlined.
During these attacks, it was reported that vehicles were stoned, resulting in the injury of two drivers who were taken to hospital. It was further reported that a petrol bomb was thrown at a car, causing injury. This resulted in the N2 being closed at Broadlands Avenue and Onverwacht Street, and at Sir Lowry’s Pass.
Those who attended last night’s meeting included the Western Cape Traffic Chief Kenny Africa, councillors from various political parties, SAPS officials, officials from the Department of Community Safety, Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) volunteers, Community Policing Forum (CPF) members, private security, local mediation coordinators, and the local Home Owners Association.
Minister Fritz said, “Amongst the agenda items was a situation report by the Khayelitsha Deputy Cluster Commander and a discussion around mediation as a tool to overcome civil unrest. In the short-term, Mr Africa’s office have committed to arrange patrols with all law enforcement agencies including SAPS, Metro Police and private security to ensure 24/7 surveillance. I call on members of the community to support them in their efforts by reporting any related crime along the N2 to the Provincial Traffic hotline on 021 946 1646.”
“In the medium term, a CSF will be established, consisting of government officials, community safety organisations, CPFs and NHW members. We have previously seen CSFs be successfully implemented in the Overberg, namely Grabouw, Hermanus and Botrivier. CSFs will ensure that appointees are trained as first responders and mediators to help defuse potential unrest and protests. A meeting will be held this Saturday to discuss the implementation of CSFs in Somerset West and surrounding communities,” said Minister Fritz.
Minister Fritz concluded that, “Finally, as a long-term strategy, we need to critically consider the issue of land reform and engage with bodies including SANRAL, ASLA, the City of Cape Town, the Western Cape Government and National Government. Better coordination and communication between all spheres, sectors and industry is the key to safeguarding our province.”
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Department of Community Safety remains committed to using all the tools at its disposal to safeguard the province.