The newly appointed KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Ms Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni began her morning at the KZN Sharks Board Maritime Centre of Excellence in Umhlanga where she was addressing senior management, officials and invited stakeholders during the Department of Community Safety and Liaison’s Strategic Plan Review Session for the 2021/2022 financial year.
In her Opening Remarks, MEC Nkonyeni said the Departmental Strategic Planning Session was very critical as it will determine what the department’s key priorities are for the next financial year and the coming years in fulfilment of the mandate and priorities set out by the 6th administration.
“This Strategic Plan Review Session is intended to provide us an opportunity to reflect on broader developments and trends locally as well as nationally that impact on the implementation of the National Development Plan and Provincial Growth and Development Plan. Last week during my introductory engagement with MANCO members, I mentioned the importance of implementing the District Development Model as it is a new integrated planning model for cooperative governance which is aimed at fast-tracking service delivery and ensuring that municipalities are adequately supported and resourced to carry out their mandate. It is pleasing to know that the Department is visible in all eleven District Municipalities across our province, but all Directors are residing at the Head Office. This needs to be seriously looked into, so that our communities receive proper service delivery and feel the presence of government closer to their doorsteps, more especially because crime is a major concern for our people. This includes all our stakeholders, so that we can realise our vision of building a crime free province. The Department needs to be decentralised – therefore the strategy needs to address that particular issue so that we are able to reach all corners of the province,” said MEC Nkonyeni.
MEC Nkonyeni said one of the strategic objectives of the 6th administration is to build the capacity of the state and the department has been mandated to deal with serious issues troubling citizens in the province.
“There’s a lot of crime in our province, gender-based violence and human trafficking is also a major concern, as we speak people are looting shops in Ezinqoleni, there’s service delivery protests in various parts of our province and these protests are expected to increase as we are approaching the Local Government Elections, so the question we should be asking ourselves is what is our role as the Department of Community Safety and Liaison in addressing all these issues that are troubling our people? It is for this reason that the Department must constantly monitor, evaluate, and adjust its strategic initiatives. Let us think outside of the box. Importantly, we need to start dealing with the organisational structure which is very imperative. Lastly, the success of this strategy lies in the process of turning plans into action in order to reach a desired outcome therefore, we must ensure that our strategies are turned into service delivery plans of action so that we will make a tangible difference in people’s lives. We need to be very innovative and constantly engage with communities in order to prevent unnecessary service delivery protests,” concluded MEC Nkonyeni.
Stakeholders representing community crime fighting structures such as the KZN Community Crime Prevention Association, KZN Youth Desk and KZN Community Policing Forum Board reaffirmed their commitment to working with the Department in fighting crime in the province as well as driving crime prevention interventions. They also highlighted key challenges that they are faced with in executing their duties, which MEC Nkonyeni committed to deal with in order to enable crime fighting structures to effectively drive crime fighting campaigns throughout the province.