The 2019/2020 Safer City Summit

POLOKWANE – The South African Police Service in Limpopo had converged in partnership with various stakeholders from other sister Developments, on Friday the 25th October 2019 at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium outside the city of Polokwane, for the Polokwane Safer City summit. This crucial interaction was aimed at confronting the challenges of criminality across the province.

The Summit was led by the Saps Polokwane Cluster Commander Major General Lesiba Jack Mashilo, supported by the Saps Seshego Cluster Commander Major General Sam Mokgonyana, other Cluster Commanders, Station Commanders, Unit Commanders, Saps brass band, Saps members in partnership with the Polokwane municipality Acting Major MMC Mr William Kganyago and his team, the Department of Transport, the Department of Correctional Services department, other departments, Security companies, the Community Police Forum members, Chaplains and pastors.

The Polokwane Municipality Acting Major Mr Kganyago, addressed the audience and he outlined the importance of working together with the Police to ensure safety and security in the province. He said “Community Police Forums must be sustained to prevent any form of crime from taking place.”

The Cluster Commander of Seshego Major General Mokgonyana, highlighted the purpose of the meeting, as to gather all the stakeholders to be a team and find the solution of making the Polokwane City and all the areas across the Province a safer and secured environment. We will definitely establish the structures that will carry the project forward by reducing the level of crime and ensure safety to everyone in the province.”

The ambassadors from the Correctional Services Department, addressed audience, giving the testimonies of committing crime and serving sentences.

One of them, Ms Pheladi Maholo said she was arrested for Murder which resulted from domestic violence that she experienced.

During her address, she cried out to the community members to report crime on behalf of victims that are not able to report, in that case, they will be protecting victims and at the same time saving lives of the innocent. She also pleaded to the society in general to accept the ex-prisoners in the community because they have served their sentences and they have learned their lesson.

The Polokwane Cluster Major General Mashilo addressed the audience during his key note, he said, “Today we gathered here in the summit in order to create an environment that all of us will feel safe at all times. It deep fit and obedience to take you through the challenges that we are faced with almost every day in the City of Polokwane, which are sexual offences, robberies in their respective forms, house breaking-business and residential, theft out of motor vehicles, theft general to shoplifting according to their analysis. As a result, most of the perpetrators are found not to be in their sober senses, following a consumption of narcotic substances such as drugs, alcohol, nyaope and many others, with an intention behind, of gaining courage to act unlawfully and to be merciless towards their victims.

This summit should accumulate an effective strategies that will include every citizen to participate in fighting criminality in the whole province. He called upon the youth of this province to participate in the YCOPS and CPF, saying that, “these structures should be taken into great consideration, as it is an important part of fighting against at all odds of crime.

Community members were also encouraged to form street committees, neighbourhood watch and block committees involving the Saps in their areas. The Society must have contact with the Police even when crime is not committed, they must always engage and strengthen partnership of both concerned parties.

When he concluded, the General said, “I urge each and every one of us to talk like Joshua from the Bible when he said, ‘Me and my family will serve the Lord’, in this case, the General quoted this scripture to encourage the audience to share a message of fighting crime together and the positive results that can be reached if each and every household can practice these messages, we will definitely be one of the Safer City in the country.

The summit, had then moved to the next phase of commissions and the attendees were divided into groups, discussing crimes as follows:

* Alcohol and substances abuse

* Mushrooming of drugs and gender based violence.

* Prostitution and human trafficking.

* Public space and municipal bylaws.

* Personal and property safety.

Thereafter, the groups gave feedbacks from their commissions. The summit was wrapped up and positive results are expected to be achieved following this necessary approach towards the Safer City Programs.

Source: South African Police Service