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The return on investment has been huge since the launch of the City’s initiative to reward informants which sees members of the public paid a small cash amount in exchange for blowing the whistle on crime. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town has made dozens of arrests and recovered stolen goods and contraband worth millions of rands, courtesy of its Informant Reward System.

The City’s Safety and Security Directorate formulated the Informant Reward Policy in 2013. It makes provision for payment of up to R1 000 for information that will lead to an arrest or the successful confiscation or recovery of stolen goods or contraband.

Since the initiative was launched in October 2013, 34 payments have been made to informants, totalling R33 500. In return, the City has made 51 arrests:

Charge Number of arrests
Theft 21
Dealing in drugs 12
Murder 6
Kidnapping/human trafficking 6
Illegal possession of firearms 5
Attempted murder 1
Total 51

In addition to the arrests, staff have also recovered the following:

  • Drugs with a street value of more than R485 000
  • Abalone valued at R5 million
  • Four firearms, including an R4 assault rifle
  • Copper cable and other metals valued in excess of R500 000

‘The return on investment is a no-brainer and if ever there was doubt about the success of the reward policy, these operational outcomes surely put those doubts to bed,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

Applications for the payment of a reward can only be submitted by the member of the Safety and Security Directorate who received the information that led to the arrest(s) or recovery of stolen goods. They have to provide proof of the informant’s involvement to a special committee which considers each application. The system is not open to people under the age of 18 or City of Cape Town employees.

‘The information is handled very sensitively because we don’t want to compromise the safety of the informants. Some people are critical of such payment reward schemes, but the benefits of stopping crimes of this nature completely outweigh the small cost of paying informants. Our enforcement staff cannot be everywhere all of the time. We need extra eyes and ears on the ground that can provide good intelligence to help us rid the streets of criminals,’ added Alderman Smith.

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