The Western Cape's Safety Plan aims to combat violence and crime that has plagued the community for a long time.
Cape Town’s Luxolo Ndabeni (20), one of the first 500 learner law enforcement officers to complete training and sign an employment contract with the City of Cape Town, urges residents to work with law enforcement officers and the police to reduce violence and crime.
An August 2019 report on urban safety, released by the South African Cities Network, recorded that Cape Town had the highest murder rate in the country, with 69 people killed per 100 000.
The officers have been deployed in 10 communities, regarded as crime hotspots, and they use a data-driven approach to reduce crime.
Ndabeni urges community members to notify law enforcement officers or the police if they know anyone involved in crime. “It is our duty to make sure that we solve the matter. As one of the members appointed to help communities, I will make sure I do my job of protecting the communities I serve,” he said.
Also a third year psychology student at the University of South Africa, Ndabeni applied to become a learner law enforcement officer at the beginning of 2019 and started training in May. In November 2019, he started working as a law enforcement officer in Delft, Cape Town, through the Expanded Public Works Programme.
“My job is mainly crime prevention, protecting Delft’s community and keeping the neighbourhood safe. Since we started working in Delft, we have decreased the level of crime,” he confirmed.
Ndabeni said drug abuse is one of the main causes of crime in Cape Town, but the community helps by alerting police to suspected drug dealers.
Western Cape MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz said the Western Cape Safety Plan aims to halve the murder rate over the next ten years, via these deployment interventions and targeted violence prevention programmes.
"The next 500 learner law enforcement officers are expected to be appointed by July 2020. Ultimately, the Western Cape Safety Plan foresees a total deployment of 3 000 officers, he said.