Call for Premier’s response

Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (MPCPF) chairman Norman Jantjes, Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association deputy chairman Michael Jacobs and Mitchell’s Plain Neighbourhood Watch Association (MPNHW) chairman Colin de Hart

An open letter to the Premier of the Western Cape.

We, the representatives of Mitchell’s Plain Community Police Forum (MPCPF), Mitchell’s Plain Neighbourhood Watch Association (MPNHW) and the Mitchell’s Plain United Residents Association (MURA), hereby wish to express our displeasure and disappointment at the lack of response to the memorandum dated Sunday March 14 and handed to your office on Monday March 15.

The memorandum clearly recorded a request for a response by Wednesday April 7.

We are rather dismayed that the memorandum, from the people of Mitchell’s Plain, did not even warrant an acknowledgment of receipt from your office.

This an indication of the intransigence of the Western Cape Government to address the concerns of the community.

The peaceful march against gang violence and murders on Sunday March 14 was Mitchell’s Plain’s response to the mass murders which occurred in our community a few days prior.

The march was attended by approximately 600 people, which included families of the victims of gang violence.

The march ended at Mitchell’s Plain SAPS where a memorandum was submitted for the urgent attention of your office, City of Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato and SAPS provincial office.

The memorandum was a further attempt by the community to seek a meaningful partnership with the government in order to find sustainable solutions to the scourge of gangsterism, drug abuse and crime besetting our beautiful city in general and Mitchell’s Plain in particular.

Your provincial safety plan also refers to this partnership.

We thus find it inexplicable that there appears to be a lack of urgency in wanting to engage with us or worse, not even dignify our memorandum with an acknowledgement of receipt.

MPCPF, MPNHWA and MURA have agreed that we allow a further period of 10 days for a meaningful response from your office, failing which we will return to the Mitchell’s Plain community for a further mandate.

Alan Winde, premier of the Western Cape, responds:

Upon being alerted to the matter by the City of Cape Town, the matter was referred to the Department of Community Safety (DOCS).

The DOCS will meet with MURA on Thursday May 13 to discuss the establishment of area-based teams.

The Western Cape safety plan remains committed to ensuring that the community’s voice is heard and incorporated in its implementation.

As such, DOCS have committed themselves to including bodies such as accredited neighbourhood watches, CPFs which have held valid electoral annual general meetings, and the faith-based organisation sector into area based teams once they are fully functional.

This will ensure a data-led and evidence-driven approach to its deployment of law enforcement officers and in creating violence prevention programmes.