The Police Ministry has commended the commitment demonstrated by the community of Khayelitsha, especially its youth, for not allowing themselves to be by-standers but choosing to be active participants in the collective fight against crime.
The Cape Town township has in recent times seen sharp increases in contact crimes such as murder, sexual violence, aggravated robbery and vigilantism cases reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS).
On Youth Day, the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) hosted a Crisis Response Summit attended by the Police Ministry, Civilian Secretariat for the Police and the SAPS management led by the National Commissioner of the SAPS General, Fannie Masemola.
The summit was also attended by MEC of Safety and Police Oversight in the Western Cape Regan Allen, officials from the City of Cape Town, together with representatives of the Community Policing Forum, Neighbourhood Watch and other community policing structures, faith based organisation and members of the Khayelitsha community.
Minister Cele said it was an indictment on everyone when the youth of any community resort to crime in order to survive.
He said: “Unfortunately when you go to Pollsmoor prison or any other correctional service facility in the country, they are full of young people, even more sad is that our cemeteries are full of youths and the dead bodies we pick up at crimes scenes in Khayelitsha are mostly young people, this situation must change”.
Addressing the summit, Cele added that the participation of youth in the economy should remain top of the agenda for government.
“The youth of 1976 didn’t fight for crime to thrive but fought for a better life, so today we are so glad when young people become part of the solution and say not in our name will there be crime, GBV or mistreatment of the most vulnerable in our society.
“It doesn’t end there, youngsters are going even further and coming up with tangible solutions, some are raising their hands to say they are willing and able to work with all spheres of government and stakeholders and avail themselves to be part of a journey towards neutralising crime,” he said.
The Police Ministry has echoed the sentiments of President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address on Youth Day in the Eastern Cape, where he encouraged young people to reject crime and fight against corruption.
The Ministry also urged police officers, especially young members in the service to lead by example, serve their communities with diligence and be exemplary to the youths in the areas they police. – SAnews.gov.za