Keeping SA safe during festive season

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

As millions of South Africans prepare to travel for the festive season, police will deploy a multi-disciplinary approach – from enhanced visibility at holiday destinations to establishing road blocks at strategic points with an aim to prevent crime.

Police will also conduct awareness campaigns to deal with crimes such as gender-based violence and crimes against children, as well as enforcing by-laws and implementing the annual arrive alive campaign.

SAPS’s Major General Leon Rabie briefed the Portfolio Committee on Police in the Old Assembly on Tuesday.

He said it is common knowledge that during the festive season, there is an increase in the movement of people in South Africa and that there is an increase in activities related to holidays, entertainment and an increased foot traffic at shopping centres.

“This necessitated the [police] to implement what we now refer to as a safer season safety campaign all over the country. This was launched by the Minister on the 2nd of November in 2018 in Port Elizabeth in Motherwell under the theme ‘Quiet Storm’ and the mission will be ‘zero tolerance to crime’.

“This was followed by a multi-disciplinary roadblock on the N3 corridor, at the Van Reenens Pass, in the Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

“At the same time, all nine provinces launched the #NationalSafetyFriday campaign and we have been embarking on the [campaign] since the 2nd of November 2018. These operations will continue until the 21st of January 2019,” he said.

Rabie said the plan compliments the current national Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster’s Operation Fiela.

The plan will encompass other interventions such as the JCPS Economic Stimulus Implementation Plan, the anti-gangsterism operations, Emanguzi Presidential Intervention for Cross-Border Operations, Border Management Agency plan, the OR Tambo Implementation Plan rolled out to the other identified ports of entry, Operation Buya Mthetho campaign and the Arrive Alive campaign, among others.

Gauteng, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape are the focal provinces that have been identified with the plan.

Six-pillar approach revealed


Rabie said the six-pillar operational approach will be deployed in different phases from the beginning to the end of the festive season.

He said the first pillar will focus on combating aggravated armed robberies and cash-in-transit robberies, murder including taxi violence. Police will also conduct high visibility operations at all businesses like shopping malls and small business enterprises as well as residential premises to combat business and house robberies, bank robberies, carjacking, cash-in-transit heists and ATM bombings.

He said since the commencement of Operation Safer Festive Season, some of the successes that have been recorded include 50 arrests across the Eastern Cape (31), Western Cape (8), Northern Cape (6) and KwaZulu-Natal (4).

Pillar two – which deals with the proliferation of firearms, liquor, drugs, gangsterism and the illicit economy, enforcement activities against liquor outlets contributing to crime, alcohol and drug abuse and public drinking.

He said 44 were arrested in connection with illegal firearms and ammunition and that 1 265 were arrested for Liquor Act related offences.

On tackling crimes against women and children, which falls under pillar three, police will conduct awareness campaigns and implement 16 Days of Activism programmes.

Pillar four, which deals with the enforcement of by-laws that deal with offences like hijacked buildings and unlawful sale of crackers, police will ensure compliance with municipal by-laws with a view to identify gaps.

On the fifth pillar, which deals with enforcing road safety, police will participate in joint operations with the Department of Transport to implement the Arrive Alive campaign. Police will also enhance operations and highway patrols focusing on drunken driving and traffic-related offences.

Rabie said successes recorded since the commencement of festive season operations have led to the Road Traffic Agency arresting 511 people, with 155 being arrested in Limpopo, 127 in Gauteng, 99 in Mpumalanga and 72 in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the last pillar, which deals with enhancing border security where authorities search for stolen goods crossing borders, drugs, human trafficking and tracing of wanted suspects, police will conduct searches to control movement of goods and persons and will combat transitional crimes.

Security at borderlines and ports of entry will be enhanced and will also focus on illegal immigrants, illegal firearms, counterfeit goods, illegal cigarettes and stock theft.

Ever since the commencement of Operation Safer Festive Season, 390 undocumented migrants were arrested in Limpopo (224), KwaZulu-Natal (72) and Gauteng (23).

Other successes recorded include 496 suspects who were arrested for common assault.

Rabie said, meanwhile, that the operational plans will be implemented in a phased approach with the pre-holiday season being implemented from 25 October to 30 November to focus on road safety.

The second phase – which will cover the beginning of the festive season – will run from 1 December to 15 December 2018 and will focus on year-end closing of industries.

The third phase – which will cover the actual holiday season – will run from 16 December 2018 to 2 January 2019 and will see an enhanced visibility through operations. The fourth phase of the festive season operations (3 January to 16 January 2019) will look at the end of the holiday season and will see police rolling out road-safety enforcement, border security and aggravated robberies.

The final phase will be the post-holiday season (17 January to 31 January 2019) and will focus on the exodus from other provinces when people return to work and when students travel to register at universities. –