2 May 2017
The Western Cape’s Regional Socio-Economic Projects (RSEP) and Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) initiatives have shown tremendous results in reducing crime, building communities, and alleviating poverty in the Western Cape. Since 2006, the project has brought about a whopping 53% drop in the murder rate in Harare, Khayelitsha.
In a debriefing by the relevant Department in today’s Standing Committee on Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, it was revealed that these initiatives have made significant progress in Western Cape communities where social inclusion and access to public facilities and economic opportunities are key on the agenda.It’s welcoming to see that since the launch of the programmes in Khayelitsha, it’s being expanded to other needy parts of the Province as well. The various projects that’s being implemented by the Department, such as improving youth centres, libraries, recreational nodes, and ensuring safe walkways is directly addressing the needs of neighbourhoods, and thus visibly delivering to poorer communities. It’s vital that these programmes be rolled out to many other communities, so that more successes can be achieved across the Province.
In Lotus Park, the construction of ‘Emthonjenis’ or neighbourhood centres, has vastly reduced crime rates and provided playgrounds, sports centres, and WiFi hotspots to keep young people active, connected, and off the streets. While in Paarl East, 79 local income opportunities have been created since July 2014 along with a 12% reduction in alcohol-related contact crimes. This was achieved through social crime prevention initiatives and the investment of R10 million in libraries, sport parks, and community centres in the region.
As the DA-led Government, working together with the German Cooperation, we have committed ourselves to reversing the effects of apartheid in the province by integrating poorer communities and providing increased access to public facilities in previously disadvantaged areas.