NEWS & ANALYSIS

Communities to play greater role in crime prevention – ANC WCape

Outcomes of meeting between ANC Working Committee and NEC-deployees

Outcomes of meeting between ANC Working Committee and ANC NEC-deployees

11 September 2019

The Provincial Working Committee (PWC) of the ANC in the Western Cape had the most productive meeting with all NEC-members who are deployed to the Western Cape.

The PWC, received a report from the Convenor of ANC NEC-deployees, Bheki Cele, who addressed various organizational challenges and opportunities as well as the many problems and challenges he and other NEC-deployees encountered in their interactions with ANC structures and communities across the Western Cape.

Comrade Cele expressed his concern about escalating crime in the Western Cape and the meeting agreed that special attention should be given to the high incidents of violent crime, gangsterism and drugs. 

He explained that the department he heads is also looking at these matters and have made some announcements about interventions to make the Western Cape a safer place for all. He assured the meeting that he would make further announcements on other interventions in the near future.

While the PWC expressed appreciation for his hard work, the meeting agreed to work with its branches in the affected areas to develop targeted programmes that would ensure a greater role for communities in community policing and crime prevention.

The PWC urged the Convenor, as Minister of Police, to reintroduce the anti-gang and -drug units, to look at the establishment of a specialised unit that would deal with the dramatic increase in kidnappings in the province and also the concerning availability of illegal weapons in the province. 

Moreover, the PWC called on the Convenor to look at reintroducing the Bambananis, a specialised community policing programme that was very successful when it was in place in the province until it was closed down ten years ago.

The PWC proposed that these Bambananis be deployed across affected communities and areas to do street patrols and help in the protection of public buildings like schools and clinics as well as do patrols at railway stations and taxi-ranks. 

Public transport, in particular Cape Town, has now reached crisis proportions with taxi ranks being closed, taxi conflicts not adequately resolved, arson attacks on trains, safety on trains, regular suspension of MyCiti bus services, overloading of MyCiti busses especially during peak hours, attacks on Golden Arrow busses and the impact of this on the City’s bus service, problems with Golden Arrow’s smart card system as well as tender problems with the electricity bus project.

The meeting agreed that it would urgently meet with the leadership of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and the Minister of Transport to discuss the crisis and to look at constructive ways to resolve it. Concerned about the safety of commuters and noting the high incidents of rail fatalities as well as the high number of taxi accidents across the province, the PWC agreed that the provincial government has failed dismally in the many matters within its immediate control. 

The meeting discussed the fishing rights allocation crisis, especially its dire impact on traditional fishing communities, at length and expressed frustration with the leadership crisis at the fishing division of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

It was agreed that the Convenor would facilitate a meeting between the ANC PWC and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Illegal farm evictions and responses by local government and non-governmental organisations were also under the spotlight and the meeting calls on all farmers to desists from this inhuman practice that seeks to violate and humiliate the most vulnerable community.

To this end, we will also call for an urgent meeting with the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Minister of Human Settlements and the Minister of Labour. Also, the meeting agreed to meet with farmer associations as well as labour organisations that work with farm-workers.  

Lastly, the meeting discussed the #ShutdownMovement in the Western Cape and agreed that ANC branches and structures should support the objectives of this movement. Also, because of agreement on most matters raised by the #ShutdownMovement, the PWC endorsed the work of the Convenor agreed that the PWC should continue to engage with the #ShutdownMovement.

The PWC acknowledges and appreciates the work done by the Elections War Room, headed by Comrade Ebrahim Rasool, and agreed that the work of the ANC in the province should be focused on community participation and that strengthening and unifying our branches should be central to all our work.

Issued by Faiez Jacobs, ANC Western Cape secretary, 11 September 2019