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Skip Navigation LinksCity of Cape Town > English > Media Releases > We need partners to win the fight against drugs and gangsterism
We need partners to win the fight against drugs and gangsterism
NO. 642 / 2012
03 AUGUST 2012


Some of our communities face serious challenges. Many of them relate to historical patterns of structural inequality. Some of them concern a past dominated by a lack of opportunities. Still more are the consequence of social and economic disconnection.

In as much as these are universal problems that are not unique to our country, our particular history provides additional complications.

Whatever the details may be, these problems exist. They are very real issues that combine to form a challenging mix of circumstances for communities, and individuals, to face.

As a City working towards unity in our diversity, they affect us all. The Opportunity City; the Safe City; the Caring City; the Inclusive City; and the Well-run City. These are the five pillars upon which we are building the future – for the whole of Cape Town.

Guided by these principles, we must allocate resources for the kind of social redress that can provide a more lasting reconciliation. We must interrogate the social problems holding communities back. But we must also interrogate all of the factors that combine to undermine communities.

We know about social, economic and historic problems. But this government believes in the power of individuals; the agency of people to change their own lives.

That is why we believe in the power of social change, where individuals take it upon themselves to live with dignity and respect.

The power of the individual motivated to act is the power to change the world in which we live.

It is for this reason that we will be taking the City’s ‘Don’t Start, Be Smart’ campaign against drugs to its next phase on Saturday with a march against drugs in Mitchells Plain.

This march is recognition that individuals have power to act against drugs through mobilisation.

This march is equally recognition that it is the drug trade pursued by gangsters – at the tremendous cost of individuals, society and life itself – that is ripping communities apart.

This is a march against crime and those who are responsible for it.

It is a march to say that we will retake ownership of our communities and put those individuals who would destroy it with their criminal enterprises on notice that Cape Town belongs to us and our children, not them.

We know that the problems in some of our communities are a mix of the historic, social, economic and the criminal. We know that to confront these issues, we must have a ‘Whole of Society’ approach and we must apply a battery of resources, from social to financial interventions.

But where crime occurs, we must restore safety and order first, otherwise all of our other careful developmental initiatives will, inevitably, be severely handicapped.

This is our approach in the City of Cape Town to fight drugs and gangsterism. But we need partners in order to succeed.

As good as our Drug and Gang Units are in the Metro Police – and they are the best in the country – they have the limitations of a municipal police force. What these communities additionally require on the direct crime-fighting front is the intervention of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

It is the SAPS that has the ability to investigate extensive criminal networks beyond municipal borders and that has the powers of arrest that can lead to the prosecutions that will remove these criminals from our streets.

Today, I am meeting with General Arno Lamoer, Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS, to discuss matters relating to criminal disruptions in this city. Those disruptions range from those who might be using protest as a device to disrupt the government of this city away from the ballot box, to the actions of criminals ripping our communities apart to distribute drugs.

But the SAPS and the Metro Police cannot fight this problem alone. We also need social interventions and social actions. That is why, tomorrow, we will be marching as communities who are united to achieve change.

Together, we will show that the problems of our society can be addressed. The structural problems of social and economic inequality are being tackled through resource-allocation, redress, time and dedication.

But the problem of those whose crimes block all of our other interventions will be met by individuals who want our communities to prosper and thrive, free of gangsters and drugs.



TEL: 021 400 1382 CELL: 083 943 1449 E-MAIL: SOLLY.MALATSI@CAPETOWN.GOV.ZA

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