Independent Online

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Safety plan in place should unrest and looting spill over into the Western Cape

MEC for Community Safety Fritz said the press briefing was called to show the state of readiness for any violence or illegal protest action which may flare up in the province. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

MEC for Community Safety Fritz said the press briefing was called to show the state of readiness for any violence or illegal protest action which may flare up in the province. Picture Leon Lestrade/African News Agency/ANA.

Published Jul 13, 2021

Share

Cape Town - The Western Cape government has outlined its safety readiness plan should the violent unrest taking place in other parts of South Africa spill over into the province.

The plan was outlined on Tuesday during a digital conference attended by Premier Alan Winde, MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz, MEC for Transport and Public Works Daylin Mitchell and provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile.

Story continues below Advertisement

Winde said he was concerned about the amount of fake news making the rounds and called on residents to refrain from spreading disinformation.

Fritz said the press briefing was called to show the state of readiness for any violence or illegal protest action which may flare up in the province.

“We will ensure that the Western Cape remains a place of safety for all,” he said.

Fritz said the Western Cape government was also looking into prosecuting those disseminating fake news.

He said they would be approaching the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to ask them to look at specific cases in relation to fake news.

Fritz said action needed to be taken to send a strong message to the public.

Story continues below Advertisement

Earlier during the day, false reports were spread on social media of unrest in Mitchells Plain, but Patekile said this was simply not true.

Patekile said an integrated plan has been developed and officers have been deployed to malls, shopping centres and central business districts (CBD) and to patrol primary and secondary routes and set up roadblocks where necessary.

Provincial police Commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile says the province has outlined a safety plan to protect residents from any unrest that might arise. Picture: Leon Lestrade/African News Agency (ANA)

More officers have also been deployed to areas which might become hot spots.

Story continues below Advertisement

He said officers stationed in offices have also been deployed to the streets to ensure sufficient manpower.

“There have been no incidents reported where looting is concerned. Businesses closed their doors when they saw police presence, thinking something was happening as they had seen what had been happening in other areas. We have also deployed members to warehouses as we have seen these as key points,” Patekile said.

He said the police were also engaging with local communities, community policing forums, private security companies, neighbourhood watches, City of Cape Town enforcement agencies, farm watches and all civil society entities.

Story continues below Advertisement

Mayco Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith added that the City has been working on an operational plan to mitigate the risk of public unrest, and has appealed to the public to refrain from spreading fake news on the looting and unrests.

He also added that while they can’t disclose too much information, what they can reveal to the public is that:

  • A list of potential targets has been compiled, to ensure regular patrols in these areas
  • All Area Chiefs across our metro police, law enforcement and traffic service have been tasked with drafting integrated deployment plans in areas that could potentially be targeted
  • Staff on rest days will be activated to ensure as many resources on the ground as possible
  • Staff will be activated after hours, if need be
  • Redeployment of staff from other areas or functions will be considered/implemented if need be
  • CCTV surveillance will be used to capture any incidents, to identify any suspects and to help mobilise ground forces

“The City will do everything in its power to support policing efforts should the need arise. However, we call on the national government to act decisively to address the ongoing violence elsewhere in the country.

“As a city that is already dealing with a number of enforcement priorities and risks to public safety, amid the third wave of Covid-19 infections, Cape Town can ill afford the scenes that have been broadcast on our television screens and via social media in recent days,” said Smith.

Patekile added that communication is being shared on an hourly basis between all sectors, and also urged residents who may have any information to contact 08600 10111 so that the police can respond to any incidents.

He asked residents to remain calm and “say no to looting”.

African News Agency (ANA)

Share