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City steps up efforts to prevent violent crime in Manenberg and Hanover Park
NO. 685 / 2012
19 AUGUST 2012

The City of Cape Town has announced plans to extend the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) methodology into the communities of Manenberg and Hanover Park. This is part of the City’s broader focus and plan to regenerate areas in the City that may have fallen into decay.

The programme’s concept starts from the premise that a sustainable, safe and integrated human settlement can be achieved through capital infrastructure projects and socio-economic improvements coupled with institutional capacity building and access to public facilities and services. The City has been implementing the VPUU programme since 2006 in partnership with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Development Bank (KfW).

The initiative has so far been applied, with success, in certain parts of Khayelitsha, with notable benefits including development of smaller businesses, improved skills training, and a statistically significant reduction in the number of residents, especially women, feeling unsafe by the final year of the project. On a scale from one (totally unsafe) to 10 (completely safe) the perception, according to 11 747 random interviews, has risen from 2,5 to 4,3 over a period of 28 months.

The VPUU baseline survey fieldwork in both Manenberg and Hanover Park has been completed and the community dynamics audit in both areas is currently being undertaken. This forms part of the process to develop the community action plan which will inform future projects.

In addition, the City is in the process of implementing the ‘Ceasefire’ project in Hanover Park. This initiative will be implemented in collaboration with the Provincial Department of Community Safety. The objective of this project will be to reduce the number of gang related shootings and killings in the area, raise awareness and promote public education regarding viable, realistic alternatives to violence and to challenge and provide alternatives to masculinities that promote ‘badness’, carrying and using weapons and resorting to violence to prove manhood.

The programme will include community mobilisation, mass media exposure, and the deployment of ‘Violence Interrupters and Outreach Workers.’ These ‘Violence Interrupters’ will be recruited from the community and are required to have the respect and to be able engage with gang leaders and high risk individuals, and will participate in mediation and conflict resolution. The ‘Outreach Workers’ will be also be recruited from the community, trained and deployed to provide identified “high risk individuals” with direct access to support services and to positive alternatives with a view to helping them to get on and stay on a “positive path”.

‘High risk individuals’ within communities are those individuals who are most likely to commit violent acts and killings and are often gang related or affiliated and it must be stressed that normal policing of the area will continue and that this approach will focus on the reduction of gang related shootings and killings.

“The City hopes to further extend the programme in the future, as well as entrench it in the areas where it has made such impressive gains. It is clear from the results that the programme has been a success, but many of the benefits of the programme are still to be realized over a more long term period. The potential for success by employing the principles of this project is really quite exciting,” said Executive Mayor, Alderman Patricia de Lille.

The VPUU is set to continue its efforts in Manenberg and Hanover Park over the coming year, with a further extension of the programme in 2013.


TEL: 021 400 1382 CELL: 083943 1449, E-MAIL: SOLLY.MALATSI@CAPETOWN.GOV.ZA

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