Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi has introduced 2000 newly trained Crime Prevention Wardens (CPWs) during a pass-out parade on Sunday.
The cohort joins the 4000 CPWs, also known as peace officers, who hit the streets of Gauteng in May to enhance public safety in the province and help reduce youth unemployment.
Leading the pass-out parade at Tsakani Stadium in Ekurhuleni, Premier Lesufi praised the wardens for their work to fight crime, adding that the results can be felt on the streets as they have already made a lot of arrests.
“We will deploy you all where our people need protection. The days when people mug people and go to taxi ranks are gone. Gone are the days when our children fear going to school because they are bullied.
“Gone are the days when they sell drugs; their days are numbered. Gone are the days when they sold rotten food to our people in spaza shops; gone are the days when people were scared of gunshots at night.
“We are releasing you to protect our communities,” Lesufi told the packed stadium.
To those opposed to the initiative, he said these young people can now bring
salaries to help their families.
“Five months ago, these young people were on a long list of people who were unemployed. Now not only are they employed, but they are protecting our communities every day.”
Lesufi thanked the wardens for their discipline. “I want to thank you for accepting our offer. I will be the first to acknowledge that there were teething problems, which have been resolved.
He said they will continue with their training so they can protect communities.
The peace wardens form part of an integrated crime prevention strategy that includes drones, helicopters, and CCTV cameras in all townships in Gauteng.
Government has already installed cameras in Diepsloot, and Lesufi said they would soon be installed in “Tsakane, Tembisa, Katlehong and many other townships where crime is a problem.
“We are not happy with lawlessness, and I am saying to the citizens of Gauteng, what has happened at Maponya Mall, where taxi drivers do as they wish, they must watch out. After we have fully trained and resourced the wardens … and armed them, there will be no lawless in Gauteng,” he warned.
He said no informal settlements would mushroom in municipalities as wardens will be trained and equipped, and supported to “reclaim our streets and to ensure that criminals have no space in our communities.”
He also took the opportunity to announce that the Gauteng Provincial Government, on 16 June 2023, would advertise 8 000 permanent jobs.
“We are tired of unemployment; we are advertising these posts to fight poverty. In July, we will also be advertising 8 000 new posts of Green Officers.”