Remarks by Premier R.M. Mtshweni-Tsipane on the occasion of Elukwatini Safety Imbizo

12 March 2022

Programme Director;
Members of the Executive Council in our midst;
Members of the Provincial Legislature present;
The Executive Mayor of Gert Sibande District Municipality; Cllr Walter Mngomezulu;
Our host, the Executive Mayor of Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality, Cllr Dan Nkosi;
The Chairperson of the Mpumalanga House of Traditional Leaders, Inkosi SG Ngomane;
Invited guests;
The community of Elukwatini;
Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Programme Director, it is my absolute pleasure and honour to join you and the community of Elukwatini in this Municipality, named after the ANC stalwart, Chief Albert Luthuli on this day set aside to deal with the problem of crime.

  2. I find it ironical that crime is a problem in the municipality named after the iconic leader, who devoted his time advocating for peace and unity. se lifetime was charecterized by fitting that we convene this imbizo in the Albert Luthuli Municipality.

  3. Those who commit criminal activities, killing precious lives, breaking in the properties of others for theft, must know that they are spitting in the face of the nobel peace prize, who was honoured for advocating non-violence during the dark days of apartheid.

  4. We are here to remind them that their days are numbered and that days of being soft on them are over.

  5. It was with great shock that I read the recent crime statistics and learnt that this once peaceful community has witnessed an increase in crimes such as burglaries, rape and assault with grievous bodily harm. I sat and asked my self, konakelephi? (what went wrong)

  6. What has the peaceful community of Chief albert Luthuli done to deserve such an increase in crime?

    • Kungani boGogo baphile ngekwesaba?
    • Kungani bantfwana basabe kuyodlala nebangani babo?

  7. Why must parents fear for their kids? The time has come for all of us here, to restore Elukwatini and all areas in Chief Albert Luthuli to their peaceful past.

  8. We can point to a number of societal ills that have contributed to the increase in violence. Kubambisana, Sisonke, silwe nobugebengu, kusetandleni tetfu.

  9. Part of the reason why we have convened this Imbizo today as the Provincial Government, is to create a conducive environment for the collaboration of stakeholders to fight against crime together, ngekubambisana.

  10. Yes, we agree that our police service is mandated to create a safe and secure environment for us all here. However, you must assist them to fight the pandemic of crime. This imbizo must pave the way for the participation of all of us, through Community Policing Forums, to ensure the broader participation of us all to tackle crime.

  11. Through this imbizo, sitsi “Nawe uliphoyisa lapho uhlala khona. Nalongayi ngeni, utaze ayingene!”

  12. Anecdotal research and the data of the SAPS indicates that many crimes are committed by people we know. Anyone protecting these criminals among us, must know that one day, the same criminals will turn on them, you will be their victim. We must be vigilant and remove these criminals out of the society, even if they are our relatives.

  13. Programme Director, we are alive to the fact that crime is often the by-product of poor economic performance and the severe job losses, not only here Elukwatini, but everywhere. Covid-19 has caused job losses in large numbers, robbing many households of stable and consistent income. We are also alive to the reality that a significant majority of the unemployed are our young people.

  14. I believe that this presents a unique for the Police Service to aid our efforts to create employment opportunities for our young people. The mobilisation of young people in the fight against crime must be one of SAPS’ strategic objectives.

  15. Provincial Commissioner, as you finalise plans for the new financial year, I urge you and your team to intensify your interaction and consultation with various youth formations and all other stakeholders to develop a strategy to absorb young people in the police force. My Office through the youth development directorate will assist you.

  16. 1It is crucial that we develop our young people into productive crime-prevention catalysts who in turn will reflect a positive image for our Province.

  17. Our young people must constitute a high percentage of the annual intake of SAPS reservists. The experience they will gain as reservists will bear fruits in our war against overall crime.

  18. Programme Director, for those who wish to explore other avenues than law enforcement to aid the development of this Municipality, the caring ANC-led government, has embarked upon numerous initiatives to create sustainable and dignified job opportunities for the people of Chief Albert Luthuli Municipality.

  19. As part of our economic recovery and reconstruction plan, we will invest significantly in agricultural development across Chief Albert Luthuli through the greening Mpumalanga initiative. We will ensure that our people are empowered to grow agricultural produce that government will procure for our School Nutrition Programme.

  20. This project will unfold in 3 phases and will create over 60 000 job opportunities within the Chief Albert Luthuli Local Municipality.

  21. The Mpumalanga Youth development fund will continue to empower youth and women owned SMMEs through the provision of grants and business operational support. A total of 44 youth owned SMMEs benefitted from the initial round of funding. A second round of funding will be availed during the month of April.

  22. Programme Director, as I have indicated earlier, the priority of this imbizo is to develop strategies to ensure that our communities are safe. We cannot achieve safe communities without the active participation of our communities.

  23. We must establish effective Community Policing Forums in all wards of the Municipality. Community Development Workers and Ward Councillors must be an active part of our efforts to create effective Community policing forums. COGTA and the Department of Community Safety will develop a Province wide strategy for the establishment and monitoring of effective Community Policing Forums.

  24. We must show, through practical action, our commitment to create the safe communities our people deserve.

  25. We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to clean our communities and preserve the stature and dignity of the Province of the rising sun.

  26. I thank you.

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