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Western Cape to set up Khayelitsha forums, teams

Task teams are to be set up in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, to deal with youth gangs and unlicensed liquor outlets, the Western Cape community safety department said on Monday.

Community safety MEC Dan Plato said the task teams would be set up shortly, following the recommendations of the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry.

At the end of August, the commission handed over a 580-page report on policing and the relationship between residents and police officers.

Plato said representatives for the multi-sectoral youth gangs task team would be nominated soon.

“The Western Cape department of social development will be a key  partner here, as they are the lead department tasked with the implementation of the provincial youth development strategy and have a number of structures already in place dealing specifically with youth safety and substance abuse,” he said.

The justice department and police would also have an integral role.

The province would establish a task team to survey community attitudes to unlicensed liquor outlets to assist in policy formulation.

Plato said he would also convene a forum on vigilantism, as recommended.

Members would include local school principals, churches and religious institutions, police managers, researchers, community policing forums and non-government and community-based organisations.

“[They will] develop an integrated public education programme aimed at preventing vengeance attacks and killings.”

The department also planned to implement recommendations around neighbourhood watches and community policing forums (CPF).

Plato said it would offer additional training modules on the responsibilities and functions of the watches and CPFs, with a focus on how they could complement the police’s work.

Residents and police officers would also be told what they could  expect from the watches and CPFs.

Plato welcomed provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer’s support of the commission’s findings, and said he had faith in his ability to adopt and implement the recommendations.

The commission found there was a breakdown in relations between residents and police officers in the area, characterised by a significant level of distrust among residents.

The report listed 11 inefficient policing behaviours identified since premier Helen Zille established the commission two years ago.

-Sapa