Address by the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas at the release of the Northern Cape Crime Stats for the 2016/17 financial year 6 November 2017 PDF Print E-mail

Programme Director
MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Ms Pauline Williams
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.
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 annual release of crime statistics therefore gives us an indication whether we are on the right path and where we need to improve and work harder to ensure that we protect and serve or people to the best of our abilities.

 


Crime prevention is an effective approach to reducing crime. For this reason it is internationally recognised as an important component of a developmental approach to building viable communities. Well-planned interventions can prevent crime and victimisation, promote community safety and make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of vibrant communities. However the success in building safer communities is beyond the ability of the criminal justice system alone. It requires a partnership approach between government, communities, businesses and non-governmental organisations and all levels of government to work together in a coordinated way to develop and implement strategies to address the short and long term causes of crime.  With the support and input of all the sectors I have just mentioned; we have come to the final stages of drafting our Provincial Crime Prevention Strategy 2022, which sets the tone for the prevention of crime in all its forms in our Province.


Ladies and gentlemen, it is encouraging to note that, the Province has recorded a decrease of point one three percent (-0.13%) in reported crime. However fifty thousand three hundred and eighteen (50 318) of priority crimes that have been reported for the period under review remains a serious cause for concern.


We have learned that murder has decreased by 7.5%, which is a decrease of 28 cases compared to the previous financial year. Attempted murder has also decreased with 16.4%, which represents a decrease of 108 cases. In general crime remains an unnecessary evil that we can most certainly do without.


Murder and violence in general committed against any person is strongly condemned. It does not matter whether it is committed on a farm, a township or any place of social gathering it is equally condemned. On behalf of Government, I wish to put it unequivocally clear that all lives matter, black and white alike, no matter the place or circumstances, so we should be consistent in our condemnation thereof.  The number of murders will always be of grave concern because one murder, one act of violence, one robbery is one too many. I know that law enforcement does all humanly possible to keep us safe and it is impossible to be everywhere at any given moment. It therefore becomes incumbent on all of us to exercise tolerance and realize that murder not only affects the victim and the perpetrator, but it has far reaching impact on the families involved. Life is sacred and valuable, and we call on our people to respect and honour it as such.


Although the total sexual offences has decreased, this still remains an indictment on the life of the victim and as Government we call on especially men to lead the charge against protecting our women and children against these heinous acts. Government has added its voice and in a bid to rid our society of this scourge; has since March this year, called for an urgent intervention to stop violence against women, children and vulnerable people. To this end we have made significant strides in mobilizing communities to act against crime and violence. I am pleased to announce that our call has been heard and I am sure it will be heeded. We have as an immediate intervention established, organized and duly elected Men’s Forums in all Districts of our Province as well as a provincial structure.


The men of these forums have boldly declared that not in their name will violence and crime be committed. We will henceforth deepen our social crime prevention initiatives by tightening the content of our community mobilisation and messaging.


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. Young people are forced into committing crime to feed their habits and sometimes what should only be seen as a simple petty crime ends in persons losing their lives.


The drug trade has grown in leaps and bounds the past few years and this has the potential to completely destroy the tomorrow of our young people. At this rate there is a diminished possibility of young people becoming the leaders they are destined to be. We therefore 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.


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 continues to be the cornerstone of the work that the Provincial government in conjunction with the South African Police Services carries 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.


As government we remain committed to strengthen partnerships and collaboration with NGOs, community based organisations, civil society, community leaders and faith-based organisations in ensuring that our community members are and feel safe.


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 those who inflict violence on others know they are being isolated and cannot count on the community or even police officers to protect them. Let us today leave here committed and resolute to put an end to violence against one another in whatever form.


I thank you