Thembokwezi NHW in Site B. The CPFs are the latest to criticise the City over non-payment of members, lack of working contracts and hand picking of certain groups. Picture: Supplied
Thembokwezi NHW in Site B. The CPFs are the latest to criticise the City over non-payment of members, lack of working contracts and hand picking of certain groups. Picture: Supplied

Policing forums say they’re tired of mayor’s office using their people like footballs

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Sep 9, 2021

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Cape Town - The Site B and Gugulethu community policing forums have called out the City over what they see as “political footballing” of neighbourhood watches following inefficiencies that have marred the mayoral hot spot project.

The CPFs are the latest to criticise the City over non-payment of members, lack of working contracts and hand picking of certain groups.

Last month, the Hanover Park CPF and nine different NHWs marched to the City offices over the same issues.

Site B secretary Phindile George said the project had proven to be another government “carrot dangling” exercise as numerous calls to the project manager were ignored and meetings postponed at the eleventh hour.

George said they were left to respond to questions from NHWs whose members were unemployed and had been expecting a stipend since July.

“It is truly disappointing for such a high office in the City, an office of the first citizen of Cape Town, not to honour its promise to hard working, brave volunteers who put their lives in danger daily, only to be ignored by the office of the mayor.

“This is unbecoming for officials of such a high office not to account on promises made to volunteers. We want to set the record straight, we are crime-fighters and the space of crime-fighting does not need politicians to demoralise our volunteers due to false promises. From the time sheets signed since July, who will compensate the volunteers?” said George.

Gugulethu CPF chairperson Thembinkosi Mjula said the project was nothing but a “tick a box” exercise.

“The City is continuing to separate and divide our groups and at some point with political affiliation suspicions. As CPF we have a duty to mobilise and encourage our community members to partake in fighting crime, and when we already have this human capital the government comes and destroys it.

“If they cannot accommodate groups as per the initial promise, they might as well as keep their project. We cannot allow our communities to be used as some sort of a formality,” he said.

Mayor Dan Plato’s spokesperson, Greg Wagner, said in Hanover Park challenges around payment had been resolved and payments are expected to be processed this coming weekend. He said the members would be paid, backdated from July 1.

However, in Site C and Gugulethu, Wagner said the members were previously notified that the hot spot project was not active, with NHW groups conducting normal volunteer duties.

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Cape Argus

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