The fight against crime in Gauteng will receive a boost with the addition of crime prevention wardens.
IOL reports that the Gauteng Department of Community Safety has taken a significant step in this direction by issuing appointment letters to over 5,000 successful job applicants as part of the #NasiiSpani mass recruitment initiative.
This marks an ongoing commitment by the Gauteng provincial government to combat youth unemployment, a significant issue in the region.
The newly appointed crime prevention wardens will be deployed in townships, informal settlements, and hostels nationwide.
Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, who was present at the ceremony over the weekend, offered words of encouragement to the recently appointed crime prevention wardens, urging them to stand against and combat crime and gangsterism in their respective areas.
Lesufi also utilised the occasion to reflect on the initiative, highlighting that it initially faced criticism and was regarded by some as a political statement.
“When we said ‘Nasi iSpane,’ we were told it’s a hoax and it’s a political statement. We are excited today that thousands and thousands of young people are here to receive their appointment letters, regardless of their social or political standing. Less talk, more work,” he expressed.
The department has reiterated its commitment to the fight against crime, as evident through the continued recruitment of additional crime prevention wardens to complement the efforts of law enforcement agencies.
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In a bid to reinforce law enforcement, earlier this year, Lesufi deployed 4,000 crime prevention wardens to patrol the province’s crime hotspots.
Despite assertions that the wardens underwent extensive training, they faced criticism, with concerns about their capability to fulfil their responsibilities.
Mahlatse Tseko, one of the wardens whose photo garnered attention in May due to his physical appearance, drew further attention to concerns about the wardens’ training.
According to Lesufi, Tseko had been a volunteer crime fighter for many years. Lesufi defended him, emphasising that “discrimination and body shaming are just as dangerous as racism and sexism. You are capable of working even if you are in some way. I’ve gone above and above by asking Mahlatse Tseko, a volunteer crime fighter who has battled criminals for years, to lead this training.”
With the launch of the crime prevention wardens’ street patrols on May 1, Lesufi assured Gauteng residents that they could look forward to a peaceful night’s rest, urging criminals to leave the province.
The crime prevention wardens in Gauteng will address various criminal activities, including illegal land occupation, lawlessness, damage to state infrastructure, gender-based violence, and femicide. Additionally, Lesufi has introduced advanced technology to enhance street safety.
The department has outlined its key responsibilities, including maintaining police visibility at the ward level, ensuring prompt responses to reported crime incidents, gathering community intelligence through interaction with community structures, and addressing lawlessness through intensified enforcement efforts. The wardens will also work with the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development and Human Settlements to tackle land invasions.
Picture: X / GautengProvince
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