Collective efforts can control crime levels

Dealing decisively with crime is “critical to the social fibre of our communities and economy,” stressed Gauteng Premier David Makhura in his state of the province address on Monday. “Our aim is to build safer communities, but we will need to intensify our common efforts to bring crime under control.”  

Makhura said that among the important interventions in this regard are improving sector policing, increasing police visibility and ensuring quicker response times. He also said the province is building working relations across the criminal justice cluster.

“I am deeply concerned that the fight against crime is undermined by in-fighting and conflict among the top echelons of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in our province,” he said. “Our concerns have been brought to the attention of the national minister of police and the national commissioner. We hope these concerns will be speedily addressed so that police leaders can focus on their job — keeping our communities safe. 

“As part of improving civilian oversight of policing, by April 2015 we will appoint the head of the civilian secretariat in Gauteng and ensure that the secretariat is effectively capacitated,” he said. “We will continue to strengthen community-police relations and build a strong movement against crime.

“Drug and alcohol abuse remains a major problem. Nyaope, in particular, is ravaging our townships and tearing families apart.”

Makhura said the province has designed a prototype treatment centre, which will serve as a one-stop centre to provide integrated and comprehensive treatment of substance abuse. In addition to inpatient and outpatient treatment, the centre will provide skills development and serve as a halfway house to ease addicts’ integration back into society. Building of the first centre is to commence in 2016, and the intention is to have centres in each of the province’s five regions.

Eradicating gender-based violence was also mentioned. Makhura said that in the year ahead the province intends to actively mobilise communities, join hands with civil society organisations and to work with men in particular.

“We will build on work to date to improve forensics capacity in the province, including the training of forensic social workers, to improve conviction rates,” said Makhura. “We will expand access to victim support services and places of refuge for victims of abuse. Ikhaya Lethemba will continue to provide support to victims, and assist them in bringing perpetrators to book.”

Makhura commended civil society organisations such as the South African Banking Risk Information Centre and Business against Crime for working in partnership with the government. “We also commend those honest and hard-working men and women in uniform who daily put their lives on the line to keep us safe in our homes and in our communities.”

PW Botha wagged his finger and banned us in 1988 but we stood firm. We built a reputation for fearless journalism, then, and now. Through these last 35 years, the Mail & Guardian has always been on the right side of history.

These days, we are on the trail of the merry band of corporates and politicians robbing South Africa of its own potential.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Soundtrack to a pandemic: Africa’s best coronavirus songs

Drawing on lessons from Ebola, African artists are using music to convey public health messaging. And they are doing it in style

In East Africa, the locusts are coming back for more

In February the devastating locust swarms were the biggest seen in East Africa for 70 years. Now they’re even bigger

Western Cape Judge Mushtak Parker faces second misconduct complaint

The Cape Bar Council says his conduct is ‘unbecoming the holding of judicial office’

‘My biggest fear was getting the virus and dying in...

South African Wuhan evacuee speaks about his nine-week ordeal

Press Releases

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders

Dimension Data launches Saturday School in PE

The Gauteng Saturday School has produced a number of success stories