The Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Ms Tina Joemat-Pettersson, promised members of the community policing forums (CPFs) that today’s meeting was the first of many engagements intended to find solutions to crime in South Africa.

The committee today convened a briefing with the South African Police Service (Saps), the Western Cape Community Policing Forum (CPF) and neighbourhood watch groups on the challenges they face. The meeting was convened following an oversight visit to Nyanga, Western Cape, where CPFs urged the committee to convene a meeting where challenges can be discussed and solutions sought.

“Today is about us talking collectively about how we can harness our energies as Parliament and CPFs and neighbourhood watches to protect our people. We know that the army is assisting the police to do this,” Ms Joemat-Pettersson said.

The Chairperson further committed to rolling out this programme to all provinces to ensure that solutions take into consideration provincial nuances in relation to crime fighting. The participants were encouraged to be frank about the challenges they face so as to enable the committee and Saps to find workable solutions. “You have told us that there are problems with the department that oversees policing and the manner in which you are being managed. We want to encourage all the cluster chairpersons who make input today to state their matters in their communities so that it can be addressed,” Ms Joemat-Pettersson emphasised.

The committee took a decision to invite Saps and the Civilian Secretariat of Police to ensure that challenges facing the CPFs are resolved and that CPFs are strong, well-managed and avoid corruption. Regarding the legislation that provide for the establishment of CPFs, the committee committed to processing the amendment Bill to resolve some of the lingering challenges facing CPFs.

Malatswa Molepo
20 November 2019