Local government, the closest interface between government and communities, is a key driver of quality service delivery including the promotion of community safety. The Constitution demands that services and functions that have the most developmental impact on citizens should be performed by local government.
In response to the Covid-19 crisis, South Africa has had one of the strictest lockdowns worldwide, restricting movements significantly and citizens were only allowed to leave home for essential services like shopping and doctors’ visits. Public Spaces are abandoned areas during this time. However, social inequality and the imbalance of opportunities remain apparent - maybe more than ever before.
The State of Crime and Safety in SA Cities 2020 is an interim update and is a precursor to the 4th edition State of Urban Safety in South Africa Report, planned for 2021. With the aim of enabling continuity in evidence-based planning and implementation by city administrations and other actors with a role in the promotion of safer cities, this edition analyses the state of crime and violence in nine of South Africa’s major cities: Johannesburg, Cape Town, eThekwini, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung, Buffalo City and Msunduzi.
Using the data gathered through the app, the Flone Initiative aims to create a comprehensive database on gender-based violence hotspots across Kenya, particularly on public transport and other public transport spaces, so that Kenyan women can plan safer journeys for themselves and their loved ones. The data will also give government authorities, public transport operators, and civil society movements a deeper understanding of gender-based violence across Kenya, identifying unmet needs, raising public awareness and helping to shape policy on safety in public spaces.
The WCG Whole of Government Targeted Hotspot Plan works to change individual and community behaviour to slow the spread of COVID-19 in high-population, high-transmission areas. Community Safety, in partnership with lead departments and other spheres of government, has taken proactive measures to protect communities and save lives.
What we’ve learned through knowledge management within the South African-German development cooperation
South African cities need to invest in public spaces that are truly co-created through social engineering processes. These need to be grounded in quality community participation processes which begin at the conception of the project, carries on when the project is handed over, and continues in different ways to ensure ownership and positive social activation of these spaces.
State capture at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has led to the dysfunction of the commuter rail system. PRASA employs approximately 434 security personnel in the Western Cape. However, there are huge problems with these security contractors.The terrible legacy of those that engaged in State Capture will take years to undo. Commuters need to see improvements. A lot needs to be done regarding safety and security in trains.
The Ulutsha Street Festival 2018 turned out to be an ideal family event on a typical windy winter day in Port Elizabeth. This year’s Festival once again highlighted how public spaces can be transformed into positive spaces for recreation and social interaction. Further, the Festival demonstrated how festivals can be used as both recreational opportunities as well as opportunities to raise awareness on key social issues, such as gender-based violence and violence against children.
The creation of a safe, non-commercial and welcoming public space in Cape Town is necessary to challenge the barriers cemented in the past which taint our experience of the present and keep us apart.