The Court Watching Brief Programme of the Department of Community Safety won the Premier’s Award of being the BEST IMPLEMENTED PROJECT OF THE YEAR, at the Provincial Batho Pele Service Excellence and Innovations Ceremony, which was held on the 9 March 2023, at Hemingway’s Hotel in East London.
The Department of Community Safety (DoCS) through the Joe Gqabi District Office held a Policing Accountability and Stakeholders` Engagement Programme, at Limakatso Boutique Hotel in Aliwal North on the 28 February 2023.
Ms Phumla Nqakula the Chief Director of Community Safety Branch, in giving the purpose of the day she said the criminal activities plaguing the district were among others, the Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), as well as assaults, emanating from prevalent substance abuse in these areas, according to the crime statistics released.
“We are therefore, gathered here today to afford all stakeholders an opportunity to make inputs into strategies of crime prevention,” she added.
This was backed-up by Mr Martin Sycholt the Director of Research and Policy in DoCS who echoed the same sentiments in his report that were uttered by Ms Nqakula: “Gender-Based Violence and Femicide as well as assaults, were as a result of the vicious circle of poverty that people find themselves in, as well as high unemployment rate and inequality in these areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, Colonel Septimus Manerwich and Lieutenant Colonel Moloisane Station Commanders both said in giving the crime overview, that the house robbery, aggravated assaults, slight increase in business robbery, robbery with firearm, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, rape, stock theft, GBVF, murder, and burglaries, were among the contributory factors to the spike of crime in these areas.
The success of the programme was made possible by the presence of high-profile representatives from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Community Police Forum (CPF), Department of Education and School Governing Body, Taxi Association, Woman to Woman, Man against crime, Sanco, Department of Social Development, Ward Committees, Community Safety Forum (CSF), Ward Councilors, Department of Justice, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Joe Gqabi District Municipality, Walter Sisulu University, Ministers Fraternal (Abefundisi), and Community Safety provincial and district.