Eastern Cape transport, safety and liaison MEC Weziwe Tikana visited Mngqesha Great Place outside King William’s Town as part of a larger tour of the Eastern Cape to mark the beginning of Safety Month.
She was accompanied by SAPS provincial commissioner Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga and deputies Maj Gen Andre Swart and Maj Gen Zithulele Moses Dladla.
Part of the celebration involved the rolling out of the SAPS Traditional Policing Concept, a six-month old project that provides human and material resources to various traditional authorities in an effort to combat crime in rural areas.
These resources include a 24-hour police service point staffed with four police officials, a mobile police station, a service centre and two police vans.
The Mngqesha royal house also donated a room to house the officers, as well as beds for the service centre.
Mngqesha is the second kingdom to take part in the project, the first being Nqadu Great Place under King Mpendulo Sigcau in late 2018.
During their visit, Ntshinga met with Chief Burns Ncamashe and helped draw up a memorandum of cooperation between the SAPS and traditional authorities.
“We share a common vision that says people of South Africa must feel safe,” she said.
According to Ntshinga, the SAPS aims to extend the project to include schools and tertiary institutions as well.
She listed four key aims of the project: “We want to grow our working relations with and close the gap between the police and the community; we want to improve our public safety to a level where [people]men and women can travel and walk freely; we want to we want to improve communication between police and the community … to enhance the public perception of the police, and; we want traditional leadership to take a leading role in fighting crime.”
The provincial commissioner Ntshinga also called on the community to assist the police in combating crime.