Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas on the occasion of the Northern Cape Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy, in Batlharos Sports Stadium, Kuruman, John Taolo Gaetsewe Region, 12 September 2013 at 10h00

Programme Director
MEC’s Present
Mayors and Councillors
Provincial Commissioner of SAPS, Lut. General J Basson

Honourable Traditional Leaders
Religious Leaders Present
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

I am delighted to be with you today to launch the Northern Cape Provincial Government Crime Prevention Strategy which is in line with our commitment to foster a safer province with less crime .The Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy is a product of extensive consultation and engagement with all stakeholders in developing an effective response to the high levels of crime and more specifically violent crimes in the province.

The strategy has grown out of an inspiring initiative by men and women, government, business, religious bodies, youth and cultural organisations as well as our Traditional Leaders. It is aimed at breaking the cycle of crime at its most critical point, amongst our youth and in our communities. And it takes the fight against crime to the grass roots.

On the one hand we must continue to mount tough action against the criminals. This means effective implementation of the tighter laws and bail conditions; a more effective police force whose investigative capacity continues to improve. On the other hand we must attend with equal vigour to assisting the victims of crime; to preventing crime; and to eradicating the underlying social causes of crime such as poverty and inequality.

The vision of the Northern Cape Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy is: The creation of a safe and secure Northern Cape Province where inhabitants are, and feel safe.

The Northern Cape Provincial Government Crime Prevention Strategy aims to:

Holistically guide the prevention of crime in the Province by providing an overarching strategic framework to address crime;
Integrate, implement, coordinate and monitor all activities from government, non-governmental organisations, business and community structures in preventing crime;
and Mobilise government and community resources in the fight against crime.

Programme Director, the Northern Cape Province in the past years witnessed a number of horrific incidents and brutal acts of rape, assaults and murder as the latest released crime statistics revealed an increase in some of those crimes directly impacting on material and personal security of the public and have an adverse effect on the quality of life.

The strengthening of social cohesion in all communities across the province was undoubtedly high on the government agenda, especially on developing an integrated Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy document which will serve as a driving tool on dealing with the scourges of crime across the province.

Some of the priority crimes receiving attention include drug and alcohol abuse, gender based violence and sexual offences, murder and serious assault, Moral decay in communities, burglary at residential and business.  The SAPS has invested a lot of effort in addressing these crimes. However, this has to be complemented with measures that all stakeholders should take to prevent the commission of these crimes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, partnerships at Provincial and Local level need to be established to address the current scourge of crime in the province, and these partnerships deals with the principle of promoting community involvement and ownership which permits evidence based solutions to be formulated or adapted to meet local conditions and needs.

The main focus of concern which warrants strong intervention is the high levels of alcohol and drug abuse that mostly leads to violence in the Province, as alcohol and drug abuse is one of the main contributors towards crime and contact crime in particular.

To ensure safer streets and communities needs a dedicated approach by local government in leading the integration of programmes to address the specific safety need to focus on research, safer streets and neighbourhoods, social crime prevention, safer roads and a safer society.

Creative mechanisms to address local crime needs to be investigated and implemented like the establishment of community forums, neighbourhood watches and street committees.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the programme need to be locally based driven and therefore needs the intervention of local municipalities at local level who plan and execute together with the community a safety plan for the respective municipality.

In the main crime takes place within our communities at a local level, which has an impact on the overall safety and security at the level of the streets and generally the ward. Therefore, all our citizens generally must be concerned about the state of crime in their respective streets and wards. It is our considered view that there must be a paradigm shift in how we perceive the crime patterns in our areas.

The environments in which crimes occur need to be considered.  Lighting, bushy areas, dilapidated buildings, unsecure play parks, etc. contribute towards crime.

Mainstreaming and co-ordination of social crime prevention in municipalities is going to be our priority this time around.

Programme Director, the use of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) process to identify and to integrate safety efforts in each municipality is going to be encouraged as key to developing safety interventions on the scale and quality required to reduce crime to assist them in using the IDP process to integrate safety issues and have them reflected in a manner that promotes further integration and enhances government accountability on safety issues.

Members of the community, we need to intensify the mass mobilization of communities to participate in the fight against crime and corruption. Communities need to get Involved in local structure themselves in creative ways to plan crime out or to actively participate in community initiatives to address specific crimes in their areas like involvement of street committees and neighbourhood watches.  

Community safety and security is more than just policing as a result all of us must  join hands in the fight against crime by creating a safe and secure Northern Cape Province where all inhabitants are and feel safe.

I can assure you that the strategy motivates for a participative, multi-agency and developmental approach to community safety based on joint problem solving, decision-making and integration of crime prevention initiatives between the civil, public and private sectors within provincial and local constituencies; and communities.

Not only will this approach enhance participatory democracy, but it will surely enable communities to achieve the necessary impact in relation to local safety and security and therefore conditions that are much more conducive to social cohesion as well as local economic growth and development.

Within this context, the Northern Cape Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy suggests a hands-on approach on the part of crime prevention stakeholders in matters of community safety and security and that local government take the lead in the setting and formulation of community safety priorities for inclusion in Municipal Integrated Development Plans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I believe that you have an important role to play not only in terms of fighting crime but to promote the culture of the promotion of human rights in the community where we live.

Crime results in the deprivation of the rights and dignity of citizens and poses a threat to their rightful participation in the reconstruction and redevelopment of this province. The rights and freedoms, which the constitution entrenches, are threatened every time each citizen becomes a victim of crime.

Therefore we need to work together, as partners, to deal with the whole aspect of building the spirituality of all our people in the neighbourhood. We must create an environment of peaceful co-existence and acceptance of human beings by one another. We must show compassion, love and always help the next person during difficult times.

As we all know, broken families result in a wounded society which breeds young people who can’t initiate serious and decent relationships because they never got into the habit of learning and practising Ubuntu.

In conclusion, we want to see a prosperous and better South Africa but we forget that this will start with the contribution that we can make as members of the society.

Working together to ensure a safe and secure environment for sustainable growth and development is the responsibility of ALL.  “Let us take hands in the fight against crime” and address this crime problem in the Province, integrated with all communities’ support and involvement.

I thank you

 

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