This article first appeared in the 30 June 2022 edition of the Cape Argus newspaper.
Cape Town - The ANC in the Western Cape has urged the provincial government to invest in addressing the causative factors of crime or else the safety plan will remain a big expensive failure.
Provincial ANC community safety spokesperson Mesuli Kama said many young people, especially teenagers, were recruited into gangsterism through drugs and then made runners and hitmen, and that the provincial government had no clear plans to address the challenge.
“From the onset, the ANC was very critical of the plan as it places more focus on more boots on the ground while it pays lip service to addressing the causative factors of crime,” Kama said.
Kama was reacting to a written response to him from Premier Alan Winde to a series of questions Kama had asked regarding the Province’s investment in fighting crime and programmes to address the causative factors of crime.
In his response, Winde said that when he launched the Western Cape Safety Plan in September 2019 he did so with the aim of halving the murder rate by 2029 through a combination of violence prevention and law enforcement interventions.
He said that in doing so he tasked each department within the provincial government with a set of targets to achieve and as such the police oversight and community safety department had invested R1.4 billion during the medium-term expenditure framework period.
Of this he said the Western Cape Liquor Authority would get R143 million spread over the next three financial years
During the same period, Community Policing Forums get R1.5 million while neighbourhood watches would be provided with resources of R18 million. There would also be funding for the Chrysalis Academy to the tune of R76 million.
Kama said: “Criminologists have proved that simply living in poverty increases the likelihood of getting involved in crime. The rising poverty level and unemployment, especially that of youth and the widespread inequalities are part of the contributing factors to the rise in crime levels in the province.”
He said the ANC had been adamant that crime was not a police-only responsibility and that the provincial government and local spheres of government have a key responsibility to address the root causes of crime.