Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has called on neighbourhood watches (NHWs), accredited with his department, to obtain the necessary permits, should they wish to patrol.
According to Fritz, only 45.65% have applied and received the necessary permits to operate during curfew hours.
“The work that our NHWs do in keeping our communities safe is crucial. I, therefore, call on all accredited NHWs to ensure that they are in possession of the relevant documentation so that they continue to do this work, while abiding by the law.”
In December, Fritz consulted with SAPS in the Western Cape and confirmed that accredited NHWs may patrol under the new set of regulations, provided they adhere to all relevant protocols.
He said the NHWs must be issued with permits and it has to be on their person at all times while performing duties.
Fritz said the previously issued permits are, however, no longer valid as the regulation, as promulgated in Government Gazette No 11217, dated 29 December, has changed.
NHWs can continue to utilise the permit to patrol as provided by the Department of Community Safety.
“It is essential that NHWs continue to patrol during the curfew hours as we know that these are the times in which crimes, such as robberies and burglaries, take place,” added Fritz.
“At the same time, I urge our NHW members to take every precaution to protect themselves against infection and transmission of Covid-19.
“This includes taking practical steps, such as ensuring patrol vehicles do not transport more than the prescribed number of passengers, ensuring that patrollers wear masks correctly, sanitising regularly, and maintaining a safe social distance while out on patrol.”