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2020/11/02      |  Written By:  Brigadier V Naidoo   |   Province:  Head Office

Phuthaditjaba: 30 October 2020:  The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele has outlined the plans of the Department of Police to tackle crime ahead of the busy festive season. 

The Minister, together with SAPS senior management launched Operation Safer Festive Season 2020/2021 in Phuthaditjhaba in the Free State under the theme “tight grip”. 

The operations kicked off with a roadblock on the busy N3 in Harrismith, linking Durban and Johannesburg where the focus was to enforce compliance with road rules, inspect vehicle and driver fitness as well as vehicle roadworthiness and intercept suspected stolen vehicles and wanted suspects. 

As part of the operations, the delegation proceeded to a taxi rank in Phuthaditjhaba where a walk about was conducted with a view of mobilizing all to embrace the idea of active citizenry in the fight against crime and ensure 100% compliance of the Disaster Management Regulations.

The launch culminated with a formal interaction with residents of Phuthaditjhaba at a local stadium. 

Various speakers echoed the sentiments shared by the Acting Premier of the Free State, Mr William Bulwane that everyone, young or old , has a responsibility in playing their part in reducing crime in SA. 

“We need to be extra vigilant during the festive period as this is a time where we experience a lot of vehicle accidents. Say no to drinking and  driving. It is incumbent upon you as active citizens to report all forms of criminality”. 

The safer festive season operational plan was presented to the Minister of Police by National Commissioner, General Khehla John Sitole and will be rolled out nationally to ensure that residents and holiday makers are and feel safe during this period. 

In an effort to bolster the safer festive season campaign, 100 vehicles were handed to all nine provinces.

During his keynote address, Minister General Cele said the focus would largely be on high visibility of members at crime hotspot areas. These will include heightened visibility at tourist destinations, shopping centres, national roads as well conducting operations and patrols at all of South Africa’s border posts before, during and post the festive season. A zero tolerance approach will be followed against the abuse of alcohol, with a focus on public drinking, substance abuse and crimes related to it. 

“While the police will have a tight grip on all forms of criminality this holiday season, it’s also at this time that we in the police service must tighten our responses to violence and crime committed against women and a children. All of us must fight the second pandemic of GBVF and as officers of the law, this fight starts at police stations by improving the quality of service we provide to victims and survivors of GBV and Femicide, said Minister General Cele”. 

The launch of the safer festive season operations also coincided with the announcement of a joint plan by the South African Police Service(SAPS) and Business Against Crime South Africa(BACSA) to tackle crime just in time of the busy festive season. The Eyes and Ears project (E2) is a project that has already been piloted in Gauteng and the Western Cape. This concept sees the private security industry as a force multiplier. One of the projects core objectives is to enhance the situational awareness of the SAPS by using the Private Security Industry’s (PSI) geographical deployment footprint for the sharing of information in a bid to reduce crime in SA. 

South Africans are also reminded that the Covid-19 plague is still very much among us and people must continue to ensure the wearing of personal protection equipment and constantly maintain social distancing.