Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Safety Team is up and running

Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats has suffered increasing levels of gang violence.

Since January this year, 43 people have been killed there.

Now a new initiative is being introduced in this hot spot.

Kieno Kammies talks to the City of Cape Town's Mayco member for Safety, JP Smith about the Neighbourhood Safety Team being deployed in the area.

We are trying to learn lessons from our previous strategies.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

He says a while ago Destabilisation Units were introduced with 120 officers initially deployed in Manenberg, but the broader needs in communities resulted in the unit running from one area to another.

The nett effect was that you never stayed in one area long enough to make an impression. You calm things down and then run off to deal with the next problem.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

And this is what they are attempting to address with social programmes and other interventions.

It will roll out in Bonteheuwel then Bishop Lavis and Valhalla Park.

The 100 officers trained for Bonteheuwel are ready to roll as of yesterday and this morning we will be joining them for a walkabout.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

Smith responds to a question about Cape Town's by-laws regarding the homeless.

This is the ANC's media machine at work with all their political minions manufacturing outrage.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

He explains his side of the issue:

When the City made its Streets and Public Places by-law we purposely designed the by-law that was substantially more humane and dignified than some of the anti-poor horrors we saw around South Africa..we did a comparison side-by-side with Joburg, Durban and Tswane.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

He says the laws are pro-poor and considerate but the by-laws must apply to everybody, he says.

Communities across the city are sending complaints in their thousands about the lack of enforcement of by-laws regarding homeless people.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

For a few years, we took our foot off the enforcement and focused on social development and now we are matching that with more sustained enforcement knowing there is no person on the street because they need to be as they have all been offered accommodation by the reintegration unit. if you on the street it is because you have elected to be. Alternatives are being offered all the time.

JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security - City of Cape Town

Listen to the full interviews below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Bonteheuwel Neighbourhood Safety Team is up and running


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