President Jacob Zuma has urged the community of Elsies River to work with the law enforcement agencies and government departments to defeat the scourge of crime.
The President returned to the area today, 30 May 2017, on the Fight against Crime Imbizo in Elsies River in Cape Town.
The Imbizo came a few weeks after the President visited the Pieters family in their home in the area, following the tragic killing of their three-year old Courtney Pieters, who was found dead and buried in a shallow grave.
President Zuma undertook to return to Elsies River to look into the many challenges of crime and murder especially of children and how law enforcement authorities would improve their services to the community.
The President said that his visit also formed part of government's activities for the National Child Protection Week campaign that is observed annually to raise awareness for the rights of children and mobilise all sectors of society to care for and protect children.
The campaign was launched on 28 May 2017 in Langa, Cape Town, Western Cape and will close on 4 June 2017, in the OR Tambo District in Eastern Cape under the theme: "Let us all protect children to move South Africa forward".
Residents of the Elsies River interacted with the President and the Ministers, pleading with Government to create jobs and find some constructive activities for their youth.
"We don't need more police but we need more social workers, we need more houses and we need more jobs in this community," said one of the residents.
"Please be good fathers to your children! Let's all be good parents to our children" said another parent.
A local community leader also warned that "Some of our police get paid by the gangsters, let's get rid of the rotten police and we will get rid of the gangsters."
Pressing issues and challenges raised by the community included gangsterism which the community said was out of hand and the source of high levels of crime. Others included Intimidation and fear in the community; Violence against women and children; Drug and alcohol abuse as well drug trafficking in schools; Skills development and access to education; youth unemployment; alleged police corruption and challenges facing the criminal justice system as well as protection of witnesses and dropping of serious cases against criminals.
The President noted the concerns and pleas of the community and undertook to work with them to rebuild their community.
Government departments further announced that there would be a chess game campaign against drug abuse in June, while Social Development focused on the provision of grants and increasing the number of social workers and Human Settlements undertook to assist the Pieters family with a house as well as look at the human settlement plans of the city of Cape Town.
The Police will close down all illegal shebeens, increase police visibility in the area, urged community to work together with the police to report crime and police collusion with criminals.
In his closing remarks; the President said that the police also needed "our support as government and community members to defeat the scourge. Where the police go wrong we need to tell them. Where they are getting things right we also need to tell them so that they can be encouraged."
"We need to unite and work together as a nation to put behind bars criminals who are turning our homes, streets and areas of work and worship into places we fear to visit and live in," said President Zuma.
The President was accompanied by the Minister of Police, Mr Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini and Minister of Human Settlements, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu as well as Deputy Ministers of Justice, Police, Sport and Recreation, Human Settlements and the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shaun Abrahams.
Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa