Kirstenhof elects new community police forum

After several false starts, the Kirstenhof Community Police Forum annual general meeting was held last week.

The Kirstenhof Community Police Forum held its annual general meeting last week after several false starts.

The forum’s outgoing chairman, Tony Jantjies, said the meeting scheduled for November last year had been postponed by the Department of Community Safety (DOCS) due some policy issues and a second meeting scheduled for March had been cancelled because of Covid-19.

“Constitutionally this meant the CPF was no longer a legal entity. The CPF executive took a decision to keep the support, oversight and communications responsibilities operating,” Mr Jantjies said.

Mr Jantjies said Docs had told the CPF in August that it would get no further expanded partnership programme (EPP) funding –money a CPF uses to fulfil its basic oversight functions – from March because of its failure to hold the AGM.

CPFs that are part of the programme can get up to R38 400 a year.

Community Safety MEC Albert Friz told the Bulletin that his department had been unable to provide the EPP funding in February and March because SAPS had disbanded CPFs during lockdown on Thursday March 12.

“We have tried … to secure approval of funding of EPP activities up to Friday March 11. However, in terms of the PFMA (Public Finance Management Act) we’re not allowed to make such payments,” said Mr Fritz.

Furthermore, no EPP payments could be made to CPFs before they had signed contracts with the department for the new financial year, he said.

About 30 people attended the AGM on Tuesday November 18, and Fagrodien Johnson, from Docs, mediated the nomination process for the new committee, now comprising chairman Errol Wood, deputy chairman Matthew Campbell, secretary Sandra Graham, assistant-secretary Douglas Busow, treasurer Ashwin Kari, project co-ordinator Goeffrey Bettison and public relations officer Trevor Vroom. Additional members are Carolynne Franklin and Anthea Thebus.

Mr Wood has lived in Kirstenhof for three years and has been vice-chairman of Kirstenhof CPF for two of them. He has about 14 years experience on CPFs, including ones in Claremont and Rondebosch.

Mr Wood said each CPF had to submit a safety plan, outlining the community’s needs and identifying crime hot spots.

Kirstenhof police needed new vehicles as the station had not had any new ones for six years, he said, adding he would also like to see new opportunities for staff, including promotions.

Station commander Lieutenant-Colonel June Cilliers said the station should have 84 police staff but had 11 vacancies.

Crime hot spots in the precinct were the Blue Route Mall and Westlake Village, she said.