The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, welcomes the adjustments made to the Department of Community Safety's budget for the 2020/21 financial year which will better enable the Department to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The budget was tabled during the Standing Committee for Community Safety, where it was considered and debated by the standing committee members.
Minister Fritz said, "As with all other departments, my Department has had to execute its mandate while facing unprecedented constraints due to the lockdown. With it has brought mass socio-economic distress and unrest. In response to this, the Department has acted and thought innovatively about the issues faced."
During the lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic, the Department has pioneered the following programs:Deployed 60 Chrysalis graduates in Khayelitsha to promote awareness of COVID-19 and adherence to the Regulations; Deployed 15 NHW structures at places of gatherings in Khayelitsha. The NHW COVID-19 relief programme will be expanded to support an additional 23 NHWs in the Eastern, Tygerberg, Klipfontein and Southern hotspot areas. In total, forty-two accredited and screened NHWs will be deployed through the NHW COVID-19 relief programme; Deployed LEAP Officers in targeted COVID-19 hotspot areas to support the SAPS, SANDF, law enforcement, Metro police and traffic officers; Tasked an official within the Court Watching Brief unit to specifically monitor cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV); Facilitated the development of the "Prevention & Managing COVID-19 in the SAPS Workplace" guidelines with the Department of Health and the SAPS; and Rolled out of a communication strategy involving radio, billboards, local newspapers, posters and social media platforms to create positive COVID-19 related behaviour change.
Minister Fritz said, "Clearly, the physical safety and wellbeing of our residents has been the top priority of this Department during the pandemic. After careful consideration of this Department's needs and that of the Western Cape Government's response to the pandemic, a net amount of R27.967 million has been surrendered by the Department towards efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic."
Minister Fritz added, "This amount comprises of R36.267 million which will be surrendered through the baseline reduction to assist the Western Cape Government in its COVID-19 response. Consequently, the Department will receive R8.3 million from Provincial Treasury for COVID-19 related expenditure."
Minister Fritz continued, "Of this amount, R6.8 million will be allocated to NHWs and R1.5 million towards the operational costs of the Department including PPE procurement. Ultimately, NHWs have been empowered through this budget to play a leading role in the Department's response to COVID-19."
Issued by: Western Cape Community Safety