Germany provides over R70 million for Violence Prevention in the Western Cape
JOINT STATEMENT BY GERMAN AMBASSADOR DR. HORST FREITAG AND WESTERN CAPE PREMIER HELEN ZILLE
19 June 2014
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, signed an implementation agreement worth just over R71 million with KfW, the German government Development Bank to extend a partnership aimed at bolstering violence prevention efforts in the province.
The R71 million is part of the R 5.89 billion German-South African cooperation agreement signed by German Ambassador Dr. Horst Freitag and national Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene on Friday, 13 June 2014.
The funding will be used to roll out the highly successful Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) programme across the province.
The VPUU programme has already been implemented by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Development Bank (KfW) since 2005, with the aim of improving living conditions and reducing crime at the same time.
It has been rolled out in a number of areas in the City, including Harare in Khayelitsha.
The project is about creating infrastructural improvements through innovative urban planning and promoting active citizenship in communities, which in turn increases safety in these areas.
A total of R 291 million has been made available by Germany so far to increase the safety and security of people in Khayelitsha and to generally improve living conditions.
Under this project a fully equipped library and community centre was established at Harare Square in Khayelitsha that has provided learners with a safe space to do their homework and study after school and to access the internet. Local NGO´s and civil society organisations have also established offices around Harare Square providing various services and support to the community. A number of local businesses have also opened in this area because of the safe space that has been created by this new infrastructure.
Another key priority under this programme has been the reduction of murder and violence. In the VPUU areas in Khayelitsha, murder rates have decreased by 33%, compared with 20% in other areas – a 13% difference.
Premier Zille also expressed satisfaction with the levels of service delivery in VPUU which is 15-20% higher than in other areas.
Currently, women are also benefitting from the well-lit pedestrian routes that have been established in the area and now feel safer coming home from work, even at night. “Active Boxes” have also been established, which are small three-storey buildings with offices, a care taker flat and a room for community patrollers. These have also increased security in the area.
Today’s agreement between The KfW German Bank and the Western Cape government will enable the VPUU programme to be rolled out to other areas, starting in the Drakenstein and Theewaterskloof municipalities. The Western Cape Government will also roll out the VPUU methodology to three other municipalities namely Saldanha, Swartland and Breede Valley municipalities over the next four years.
Some of the proposed projects for the various municipalities include:
The Groenheuwel library and Community Centre are to be upgraded; and
Lighting to be improved in certain areas in order to increase the safety of pedestrians.
In Swartland and Saldanha Bay:
Pedestrian routes and walkways to be made safer; and
The integration of schools, Early Childhood Development Centers and sport facilities to be prioritised in order to promote a safe environment for children and the youth.
A Community police forum must be established and CCTV cameras installed in strategic areas;
Infrastructure, such as water purification, sewage and the provision of electricity must be improved.
In Breede Valley:
A Community Safety Forum (CSF) to be established; and
“Active boxes” or safe houses to be built in certain areas.
Premier Zille said she was thrilled to sign this agreement on behalf of the Western Cape Government. “I would like to thank the German Government for their generous financial support and assistance they have provided the provincial government and the City of Cape Town in order to roll out the VPUU programme. It has enabled us to work closely with civil society, business, communities and citizens to improve living standards and bring down crime in the province. The VPUU programme epitomizes our government’s “whole-of-society” approach when it comes to tackling social problems in communities. Making our province safer is also critical if we want to attract investment, grow the economy and create jobs. We look forward to working with the German government when it comes to rolling out this programme in the province in the future.”
Ambassador Freitag who was present at the signing said: “Germany is proud to support the Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town in their joint efforts against violence. The VPUU project has shown that simple and efficient measures, like the improving of street lightning, can prevent crime and violence if they are part of a comprehensive approach coordinated with all stakeholders.”
He said that Germany was also pleased that the Western Cape has proven itself as an excellent, most reliable partner in implementing the VPUU project. “We support piloting innovative projects with the aim of these being taken over by our partners down the line. This is an effective way to guarantee the sustainability of a project” he said.
Embassy of Germany, Pretoria