AfriForum’s neighborhood watch organizations in the Western Cape are currently experiencing fierce opposition from senior district and office police.
Police apparently do not want the neighborhood watches to again be active in their neighborhoods, as Albert Fritz, Western Cape MEC of Community Safety, announced they may do again from June 1.
Neighborhood watches were not operational at level 4 and level 5 in terms of lockdown regulations.
“AfriForum’s neighborhood watches in the Western Cape have reported from everywhere that the management of police stations against it, opposed to resuming patrols, ”says Thomas van Dalen, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety
“Strictly speaking, the regulation of neighborhood watches rests with the various provincial departments of community safety and not with the minister of police – though Bheki Cele moderates himself to provide input in this area.”
According to Van Dalen, it is clear that the amendments to the legislation and regulations were not communicated to senior SAPS members.
Regulation 33 (1) issued by Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, on May 28, 2020 clearly states that people may leave their places of residence to provide specific services (with the exception of certain activities).
“Neighborhood watchers are not mentioned in this table and so there is no regulation now that prevents neighborhood watches from resuming their patrols,” he explained.
“In light of the 19,000 prisoners who were released on parole prematurely, as well as the increase in theft,
robbery and housebreaking, and the SAPS’s inability to fight ordinary crime, it is of the utmost importance that
neighborhood watches should immediately proceed with their tasks to protect their areas. “
AfriForum takes all necessary measures to ensure that the organisation’s neighborhood watch structures behave responsibly and that the prescribed health protocols are adhered to.