News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Tuesday March 19th 2019

New neighbourhood watch takes shape in Khayelitsha

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato (on right) dances with police station commander Richard Kopman, Bishop Daluxolo Mtsolo and choir member Busisiwe Simayile at the launch of Ilitha Park's neighbourhood watch on Sunday. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato (on right) dances with police station commander Richard Kopman, Bishop Daluxolo Mtsolo and choir member Busisiwe Simayile at the launch of Ilitha Park's neighbourhood watch on Sunday. Photo: Nombulelo Damba/WCN

A new neighbourhood watch launched with Community Safety MEC Dan Plato on Sunday is hoped to reduce the increasing incidence of teenage gang fights and criminality in Khayelitsha’s Ilitha Park.

The initiative to combat crime in the area was started by Bishop Daluxolo Mtsolo of Ilitha Methodist Church of South Africa, who roped in community leaders, Lingelethu police, the MEC and the Community Police Forum.

Church members sang and danced at the launching of the neighbourhood watch, where Plato thanked Bishop Mtsolo for making the effort to create a safer community and said he supported the initiative “one hundred percent”.

Plato said he was worried about the increase in gangsterism, housebreaking and violent crime in Khayelitsha.

“We must act fast to stop this gangsterism, housing breaking and blood. To fight crime is not only the job of the police and the Community Police Forum alone, it’s everyone’s business. Mtsolo has my and the police’s support. He must come to us and we will assist.”

Plato said the Government should look at what was required to provide alternative activities for young men so that they do not turn to gangs.

“Community safety is not about arresting people, it’s about changing the lives of the people,” he said.

“There are other things that can keep the youth busy instead of crime and drugs.”

Bishop Mtsolo said about 30 people had volunteered to work during the day and night to keep their neighbourhood safe.

“I been hearing lots of complains about house breaking in our area. People are scared to go out night. Here in Ilitha Park you find people closing their doors in daylight, when you ask why, they will tell you they’re scared of being mugged. That’s why I came up with this initiative,” said Mtsolo.

He said he wanted residents to feel safe.

“Police gave us one hundred percent support. We will work with schools during the day, we will stop this gangsterism and drug abuse at our schools.”

The Ibandla lamaNazaretha church in Khayelitsha also supported the initiative.

Pastor Eric Dyatyi said if the community united they could stop crime.

He urged people not to buy stolen goods and not to steal. — Nombulelo Damba

 

Tags: Community Safety MEC, Daluxolo Mtsolo, Dan Plato, Eric Dyatyi, Ilitha Park, Khayelitsha, Lingelethu Police, neighbourhood watch, teenage gangs

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