CSFs set to stamp out crime
The City of Johannesburg is fast-tracking the rollout of community safety forums (CSFs) in all its regions as part of its intensification of the war against criminality and drugs.
On Monday night at the Don Mateman Hall in Eldorado Park in Region G, the City’s CSF Coordinator, Thobekile Twala, urged members of the local community to join hands with the City in the war against the scourge, saying safety and the fight against crime were the responsibility of “everyone, and not only for the police”.
“It is for this reason that we want to speed up the establishment of CSFs in this region. We need to move to contain acts of violence in the area,” said Twala.
The CSFs are part of a strategic intervention first announced by Member of the Mayoral Committee for Public Safety and Emergency Services Councillor Sello Lemao. Its primary objective is to reclaim the streets from bad elements, including perpetrators of acts of thuggery and drug peddlers. Last night’s meeting was part of an ongoing information-sharing roadshow on the need for the establishment of CSFs in communities.
The forums are also used to encourage residents to identify challenges peculiar to their respective areas, and to come up with solutions.
Members of the CSFs, who will be elected by their respective communities, will work with government agencies and formations responsible for public safety at local level. These include the Gauteng Department of Public Safety, South African Police Service, Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department, Emergency Management Services and community policing forums.
According to Twala, once a CSF has been established, the City enters into an agreement with it on deliverables. The CSFs include street committees which, Twala says, will be regarded as “public safety champions”.
The CSFs will be tasked with a number of responsibilities, including the reintegration of offenders into the community and provision of a platform to enable them to make a valuable contribution to society.
Twala listed areas regarded as crucial to the establishment of the CSFs. They include:
Cooperation on operations and activities and, at times, policy development;
Enhancement of stakeholder confidence;
Improved access to issues within communities and the capacity to handle them;
Increasing organisational effectiveness;
Bridging cultural gaps;
Building trust and clearer articulation of what cannot be resolved; and
Honesty, openness, compromise and a commitment to achieving mutual benefits.