Eastern Cape MEC for Safety and Liaison, Helen Sauls-August, has highly praised the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) for being the first municipality in the country to have a female municipal police chief.
The MEC was speaking at the launch of the Safety Month Programme of the Community Safety Forum at the City Hall in Port Elizabeth today. On February 1, 2014, former Tshwane Deputy Police Chief, Pinkie Mathabathe, started her job as the Municipal Police Chief of the soon to be established municipal police force.
MEC August stated that the NMBM had led by example by appointing competent people who meet the requirements, irrespective of gender, following due processes.
“This is a bold step for a growing city that has a lot of challenges related to safety and security. Through the South African Police Service and the newly launched Community Safety Forum we are looking forward to working with her and her leadership to make Nelson Mandela Bay a safe city,” said MEC August. She added that her department would give Mathabathe all the support she needed.
NMBM Safety and Security Portfolio Chairman, Councillor Thembinkosi Mafana, also thanked the MEC for the support her department gave and continued to give the Municipality in the process of establishing a municipal police force. “We are now in a position where we can confidently say we are moving in the right direction as a city in creating a safe environment for economic development and job creation,” stated Councillor Mafana.
The MEC also launched the Nelson Mandela Bay Community Safety Forum that will be formed by members of the public to assist the Police in community policing and conducting safety awareness campaigns.
Speaking at the launch of the Community Safety Forum, she said that the coincidence of launching the Forum at the same time as the launch of the Safety and Security Month gave the government an opportunity to strengthen relationships with communities and non-governmental organisations. She emphasised that youth participation in the Community Safety Forum was crucial. “This is very important in a province, which has been bedeviled by violent attacks on elderly women, mostly perpetrated by young people,” said MEC August.
The Safety Month programme will also see the department launching the Steve Tshwete Games, which will be a prominent feature of the Safety and Security Month from this year onwards. The games are intended to divert young people from anti-social activities, like crime and substance abuse. This will be done by promoting youth participation in sport.
The games will include soccer and netball. They will start at district level across the province and culminate in provincial games to be played at Aliwal North on February, 27 and 28.
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