City of Cape Town deploys more boots on the ground at public transport facilities

New boots on the ground at public transport facilities. Picture: City of Cape Town

New boots on the ground at public transport facilities. Picture: City of Cape Town

Published Oct 24, 2023


The City of Cape Town has deployed additional law enforcement officers at public transport facilities across the metropole to curb criminal activities and enforce compliance with by-laws.

It said the deployment is also to address informal trading matters.

The officers, known as the Public Transport Facilities Safety Team, are being funded by the Western Cape Department of Mobility as part of its safer public transport initiative.

On Tuesday, Executive Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis attended the launch of the new safety team, which forms part of the city’s Transport Enforcement Unit in Town Centre, Mitchells Plain.

Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis walking with officers. Picture: City of Cape Town

“The team will soon commence with active duty at public transport facilities where there is an urgent need for additional safety and security interventions. The deployment will be based on hotspot identification by our data analysts from the city’s Public Transport Department.

“This will ensure that resources are deployed where most needed, based on sound evidence. I trust this joint initiative with the Western Cape Mobility Department will contribute to our efforts to make transport facilities safer for our commuters, transport operators, and all who use these spaces,” Hill-Lewis said.

The Transport Enforcement Unit is already based at transport interchanges at Bellville, the Station Deck in the Cape Town central business district (CBD), and Joe Gqabi.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith, said this is a roving team.

“They are now busy with induction and, once done, will be deployed where they are needed. We know, for example, that there are safety and security issues at public transport facilities in Wynberg, Langa, and Mitchells Plain, to name but a few.

Alderman JP Smith. Picture: City of Cape Town

“They will be patrolling these facilities on foot and doing inspections to prevent drug peddling, to ensure organised informal trading, and to address by-law contraventions. They will be able to make arrests and issue fines. The team will work closely with their colleagues from the Transport Enforcement Unit, Traffic Services, and Law Enforcement,” Smith said.

Mayoral committee member for urban mobility, Councillor Rob Quintas, said the city’s recently improved Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plan (CITP) indicates that up to 22% of commuters use minibus-taxi services, and an additional 9% use bus services such as Golden Arrow Bus Service (GABS), MyCiTi, and Sibanye.

“Nearly one out of every three commuters uses a public transport facility where they board a bus or a minibus taxi to get to work and other destinations. We need to do as much as we can to ensure that commuters feel safe.

“Commuters’ perception of safety is closely linked to seeing officers on the ground, patrolling and doing crime prevention, and doing what is needed to ensure an orderly and safe facility. “I’m sure the presence of these officers will make a huge difference, and I ask commuters and operators to please support these officers and work with them so that we can keep Capetonians moving safely,” Quintas said.

Western Cape MEC of Mobility, Ricardo Mackenzie, said getting people to and from work safely is a top priority for local government.

He was pleased this partnership resulted in concrete action to make public transport facilities safer.

“The presence of this safety team will not only improve mobility but will also improve the environment for economic activity in these spaces,” Mackenzie added.

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