The Community Safety department launched the Neighbourhood Watch (NHW) Safety Improvement Volunteers Project in Khayelitsha, to help with the reinforcement of Covid-19 hygiene relief measures .“Ensuring that we stop the spread of Covid-19 is our top priority, we have allocated approximately R3.5 million to achieve this through our NHW deployments,” said Community Safety MEC, Albert Fritz.
He highlighted that the aim of the project was to instil behavioural change by increasing civil compliance with the five golden rules of hygiene at places of the congregation including shops, health centres, recreational areas, Sassa payout points and relief points, transport interchanges and schools.
The community initiative was presented with 15 starter kits to NHW structures to promote social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The launch was attended by officials from the police, the City, Community Police Forums (CPF) and NHWs and was simultaneously held over Microsoft Teams to include all stakeholders while ensuring that social distancing protocols were adhered to.
Tania Hosking, Police Provincial Head of Operational Co-ordination urged residents to work with the police to help curb crime in their areas. “We must all keep our communities safe,” said Hosking. The project will be run for six months and would be reviewed at its three-month mark in Covid-19 hotspot areas. The implementation period will be between July 1 and December 31, subject to need and departmental funding.
Patrick Njozela from the Directorate of Police Relations said the project was born out of the Western Cape Government’s targeted hotspot strategy which included numerous programmes aimed at creating awareness and reducing the spread of Covid-19, in densely populated areas.
“The 15 qualifying NHWs in Khayelitsha should feel an immense sense of pride. Their applications had to show that they were accredited, fully aware of Covid-19, able to support schools, supported by the police and their CPF and are currently assisting in the fight against Covid-19,” said Njozela.