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Oudtshoorn Municipality Forms Partnerships with Various Safety Stakeholders

Oudtshoorn, 07 March 2023 – Oudtshoorn Municipality held an Integrated Community Safety Strategy Workshop on the 23 and 24 February 2023 with various safety stakeholders within the municipal area. This workshop was initiated by the Executive Mayor’s Office to assist the Oudtshoorn Municipality as the main stakeholder of the Greater Oudtshoorn Community Safety Plan to effectively implement the plan through effective coordination amongst the various stakeholders within the established Community Safety Forum.

The purpose of the workshop was to develop an integrated community safety strategy accompanied by an implementable operational plan. The key facilitator for the aforementioned two (2) days’ workshop was Major General Roland De Vries who provided the participants at the workshop with great expert insight and guidelines with templates for completing various community safety operational plans.

De Vries assisted the Oudtshoorn Municipality in developing an effective and integrated Community Safety Strategy with Community Safety Operation Plan. The plan will assist the Community Safety Forum, which was established on 17 February 2023 during the Community Safety and Security Summit, to work closely together on issues of safety within the municipal area. The municipality will use these developed source documents to strengthen their Community Safety Plan, Disaster Management Plan, and Disaster Risk Management Plan as well as an effective compilation of contingency plans.

Mr Luyanda Fatuse, Acting Director of Community Services, said that “as the Oudtshoorn Municipality we seek to be recognised as a strategic partner in creating safe, healthy and caring neighbourhoods within the municipal area. To achieve this, we need to partner with our communities and municipal stakeholders if we seek to be successful in our mandate to improve public safety.”  Fatuse further stated that the municipality needs to build long-lasting relations with key and relevant stakeholders who have a common set of shared values for community safety. “If we compromised our core values, we will be putting the sustainability of this initiative at risk”.

Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Alderman Chris Macpherson, said that after the intensive work session, a core management team was put together to establish the Klein Karoo Safety Forum. “The core function of the group which will fall under the municipality is to achieve synergy between all the different security and contingency role players and to mobilize the community so that Oudtshoorn and surrounding areas can respond effectively to emergencies.”  Mr Fatuse, who was elected as the chairperson of the team, and another member of the management team, Mr George Kersop, attended a follow-up session with Major General De Vries on Friday, 03 March 2023. During this session, a comprehensive safety- and a contingency plan was finalised and presented to Oudtshoorn Municipality for implementation.

The management team will convene before the end of March to identify specific role players to become part of the safety forum, which will be known as the Klein Karoo Safety Forum. Afterwards, the safety plan will be rolled out and discussed with residents during public participation sessions. This plan to ensure the safety of people in the Klein Karoo, has already been implemented by Major General De Vries in various towns and districts. “Participation and support of the public are essential to the success of the safety plan,” Fatuse emphasised.

“The establishment of the safety plan has the full support of the Executive Mayor as well as Municipal management and residents are urged to please become involved. “Information regarding the progress of the plan will be shared in the media as well as on social media platforms of the Municipality.