The Western Cape government on Tuesday said it would deploy law enforcement at schools in the province to “safeguard learners” returning to school over the next two weeks.
“Following a meeting that took place on Sunday between Premier Winde, Minister Albert Fritz, and the Mitchells Plain Community Policing Forum (CPF) Cluster, there will be an increase in law enforcement officials deployed at schools which are reopening today,” said a statement issued by Cayla Ann Tomás Murray, the spokesperson for Fritz.
“The purpose of the additional deployments is to safeguard learners returning to school over the next two weeks.”
The statement said that during this meeting, requests were made to deploy School Resource Officers (SRO) at schools. As per the deployment plan, SROs would physically visit all schools in gang-afflicted areas.
SROs were now expected to visit the principal of each school in person and provide reports to the Joint Operations Centre regarding visits and deployments.
Commenting on the deployments, Western Cape Social Development MEC Fritz said: “Additional law enforcement has been deployed to schools in communities ravaged by gangsterism, illegal possession of firearms, and high volumes of drug-related cases which includes dealing.
“I am very glad that the Western Cape government was able to meet with CPF prior to the reopening of schools to safeguard the young people of this province.
“Among the numerous communities that will benefit from increased deployments are Philippi, Kraaifontein, Nyanga, Manenberg, and Lentegeur.”
Reports of violent attacks and murders – some of them gang-related – are on the rise in Cape Town. On Friday evening six women between the ages of 18 and 26 were shot dead in cold blood in Philippi East. In the early hours of the following morning, two more people were gunned down in Hanover Park.
Since then more police officers have been deployed in affected areas, where gang violence has become rife.
“I further call on neighbourhood watches to contribute to this initiative by patrolling schools within their communities during school hours. We must ensure the safety of our schools and the learners who attend them,” said Fritz.
Philippi, Kraaifontein, Nyanga, Manenberg and Lentegeur are some of the communities that will benefit from increased deployments, after the meeting between Winde, Fritz, and the Mitchells Plain community policing forum.
“I am very glad that the Western Cape Government was able to meet with CPF prior to the reopening of schools to safeguard the young people of this province,” said Fritz.
He urged neighbourhood watches to contribute to this initiative by patrolling schools within their communities during school hours to must ensure the safety of pupils.