Coronavirus - South Africa: MEC Albert Fritz on additional safety resources to support municipalities during Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown
District municipalities have been advised that accredited Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) can be used as Disaster Risk Management volunteers
The use of these human resources is subject to the availability of personnel and to the municipality issuing the requisite permits
The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, has written to the Mayors of each district and local municipality in the province to assist them with additional security resources during the lockdown. These resources will boost both rural and urban safety during the lockdown through tasks including queue management to promote social distancing and patrolling.
The security resources available to municipalities include:
- Already assigned Chrysalis Academy graduates; and
- Peace officers that were trained by the Department of Community Safety (DOCS).
Minister Fritz said, “The use of these human resources is subject to the availability of personnel and to the municipality issuing the requisite permits, providing the necessary supervision and issuing personal protective equipment including gloves, masks and hand sanitizers. DOCS are following up daily with municipalities to determine the uptake and starting date of Chrysalis graduates and Peace Officers.”
Chrysalis Academy Graduates
DOCS have indicated to municipalities where it is possible to allocate Chrysalis Academy graduates to perform essential services at the municipality, subject to their availability in that municipality.
Minister Fritz said, “District municipalities can make use of DOCS’ funding to pay for the call up of Peace Officers and former Chrysalis graduates. All District Municipalities have agreed to assist with funding of Peace Officers.”
The Department has trained peace officers across various municipalities. These peace officers may be utilised to perform essential services. The Department will pay the stipends of these officers for a period of three (3) months.
Minister Fritz said, “As of 27 January 2020, 120 peace officers were trained within rural communities in George and Mossel Bay, Bitou and Kannaland. Between 18 November and 6 December 2019, 72 peace officers were trained and deployed within high-risk rural municipalities. Between 13 January and 21 February 2020, an additional 48 peace officers will be trained.”
District municipalities have been advised that accredited Neighbourhood Watches (NHWs) can be used as Disaster Risk Management volunteers. However, Minister Fritz has further called on the National Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to allow NHWs to patrol in their own right, on the basis that NHWs in the Western Cape are accredited and accountable structures.
Minister Fritz said, “During the lockdown period, we have seen that a number of schools have been targeted by criminal elements. The Department has requested that municipalities prioritise deployment at high-risk schools to reduce acts of vandalism at schools within the Province.”
Western Cape Community Safety
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of South African Government.