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Source: Eastern Cape Provincial Government
Title: Mhlahlo: Second National Consultative Conference on
Community Safety Forums
Eastern Cape MEC for Provincial Safety, Liaison and Transport,
Thobile Mhlahlo’s, presentation at the second National
Consultative Conference on Community Safety Forums, Port
EFFECTIVE CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES AT THE LOCAL SPHERE AND THE
ROLE OF PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN SUPPORT OF SUCH STRATEGIES
EFFECTIVE CRIME PREVENTION STRATEGIES AT THE LOCAL SPHERE
Local government is the sphere at which planning can take the needs
of local communities and their particular crime problems into
account, potentially providing an effective link between local
representatives, municipal departments and the South African Police
The White Paper on Safety and Security clearly outlines the role of
local government, which involves:
- Ensuring that crime prevention informs planning in all municipal
- Development and initiation of targeted local social crime
- Coordination of crime prevention activities.
Both the National Crime Prevention Strategy and the White Paper on
Safety and Security put local government at the centre when it
comes to crime combating in order to promote and enhance safety of
all citizens, through the adoption of a Local Government Crime
This conference, therefore, has a mandate to:
- Cascade the principles of the NAPS to the local sphere of
- Clarify roles and responsibilities of the provincial government
and local government sphere with regard to effective crime
Programme Director, the first decade of our freedom has taught us
- Crime is not only the police’s responsibility, but all
citizens have a role to play in order to ensure that there is
“Peace, Security and Comfort”
- The institutions of the state in all three spheres must work
together and in conjunction with communities to overcome
- Intensive law enforcement is not the only method to fight or
- Implementation of local crime prevention strategies at a local
government level can assist in ensuring sustainability and
enhancement of economic development.
There has been a growing interest amongst the municipalities to
establish the local government police services or municipal
But the White Paper emphasizes that this will largely be limited to
major metropolitan areas, where the problems are most pressing and
the resources and capacity required for establishing such services
The functions of the municipal police are to focus on less serious
crimes. This helps to bolster the capacity of SAPS to deal with the
challenge of preventing crime and enables the release of more human
resource to investigate serious crime more effectively and
We always encourage Municipal Police Services to establish formal
cooperation with SAPS. A nodal point to co-ordinate Municipal and
Metropolitan Police Services has been established within the Crime
Intelligence Division at the Office of the Head of Operational and
Development Support, at a national level.
I am of the opinion that similar structures will have to be
established at provincial level with the Provincial Commissioner
and the Provincial Head of Crime Prevention of the SAPS playing a
The crime prevention functions of municipal police services are
primarily exercised through the visible presence of law enforcement
officials by means of point duty, foot, vehicle, or other
Thus, the Durban City Police have operated for many years as an
effective and well trained visible police service, which has
reduced crime and the fear of crime in that city.
Visible policing by municipal police services includes responding
to complaints and reacting to crime in instances where a delay in
activating a response from the SAPS could lead to loss of life,
loss of property or the escape of perpetrators.
Crime prevention at the local sphere is challenged by lack of
communication between municipalities and law enforcement agencies
during the designing of development projects. Some designs may
contribute to the uncontrollable increase of criminal activities.
This necessitates linkages between urban layout, the positioning of
government services, and the connection between increases and
decreases in criminality.
Already, a number of cities have begun exploring ways in which
local government can become active in the field of crime
prevention. Johannesburg, for example, has initiated a Safer Cities
programme in conjunction with the NAPS structures, while Pretoria,
Cape Town and Durban are pursuing similar initiatives.
In the Eastern Cape, the Department of Safety and Liaison initiated
the CSF project in June 2001 in an attempt to improve service
delivery of the Criminal Justice System at local level and create
sound foundation from which to implement social crime prevention at
local level. Three pilot sites were identified for this programme
in the province. They include Mhlontlo (Tsolo and Qumbu), Lukhanji
(Queenstown area) and the Nelson Mandela Metro (Port Elizabeth,
Uitenhage and Despatch).
In the Nelson Mandela Metro, the CSF project gave birth to the
Khusela Abahlali (protect the residents) Programme aimed at
developing an effective and sustainable partnership with all
role-players for effective reduction of crime in the Metro.
In the years 1993-1996, almost 400 people lost their lives in the
towns of Tsolo and Qumbu. Most of the violence was attributed to
stock theft and heavily armed groups were behind these criminal
acts. The Mhlontlo CSF, since its inception, has intervened in some
of the conflicts, including the Bajodini and Blackhill conflict.
CSF members facilitated a joint session with the SAPS, CPF,
traditional leaders and the community. This move restored peace in
Today, Tsolo has been identified as one of the SAPS Presidential
Stations and targeted as one of the stations within the Integrated
Sustainable Rural Development Nodes. A new court and police station
have been built in an effort to restore peace in the area.
Recently, the Mhlontlo CSF launched the local Community Safety
Plan, which links the area’s crime prevention strategies with
the municipality’s local economic development initiatives.
The two underpin the Mhlontlo Municipality’s Integrated
THE ROLE OF PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT IN THE SUPPORT OF SUCH
The White Paper on Safety and Security again clearly outlines the
role of the provincial government in support of these
- Designing and initiating a capacity building programme to enable
municipalities to better incorporate crime prevention issues into
the execution of their normal functions
- Where specific crime prevention programmes are established, the
provision of expert guidance, monitoring, training, the provision
of material relating to best-practice and advice related to the
obtaining of donor, business and government funding
- The inclusion of local government inputs into the developing
policy process around crime prevention at local level through the
establishment of local government crime prevention forums at
provincial level. Here, experiences of best practice can be
exchanged and national and provincial policy processes impacted
- Facilitating and monitoring establishment of district safety
forums to ensure viable functioning crime prevention programmes at
a municipal level.
This conference attempts to strengthen coordination and integration
of all spheres of government. The resolution of this conference
must contribute to enhance the newly introduced Inter-Governmental
Relations Framework Bill.
Issued by: Department of Provincial Safety, Liaison and Transport,
Eastern Cape Provincial Government
23 November 2004
Source: Eastern Cape Provincial Government