The Western Cape has seen a decrease in contact crimes over the festive seasons of the last five years.
"Our partnership with communities including 8 000 Bambanani volunteers and the South African Police Services [SAPS] is a key reason why contact crimes were reduced by 42 percent in the Western Cape over the festive seasons of the last five years," Provincial MEC for Community Safety, Leonard Ramatlakane said.
Presenting the department's R228 million budget for 2008/09 financial year on Friday, Mr Ramatlakane challenged government, police and residents to join hands and act together to defeat the criminals and crime bosses.
He said that by engaging with local crime combating organisations, they will build their capacity to prevent serious and violent crime in the province.
"We have achieved much in our fight against crime ... in our efforts to build community cohesion ... and in our attempts to forge strong partnerships.
"Five years ago, the volume of contact crime was at 136 726, but today it has been reduced by 32 percent," said Mr Ramatlakane.
He however, acknowledged that the battle was not over.
"It never will be without our people being central to our campaigns for peace and stability, but we are getting better all the time at making this province a safer home for all," he said.
The Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA) legislation has led to the arrests of a number of people involved in organised crime, forfeiture of assets of crime bosses and the closure of a number of drug and shebeen outlets.
Mr Ramatlakane vowed that the department including its policing agencies will not sit down and watch their children destroy their futures with drugs and involvement in gangs.
"Drug abuse and gangsterism are a historic, parasitical fact about the Western Cape Province, our integrated model of government in the form of inter-departmental clusters is beginning to produce sustainable results.
"Today our anti-drug campaign focussing on the 21 areas earmarked for social transformation and led by the Social Cluster is bringing hope to our communities," he said.
He further said that the drug peddling and gang initiation at schools are receiving attention through inter-departmental programmes between departments including Community Safety, Social Development, Education, Sports and SAPS with a focus on the 165 schools most at risk in the province.
"The life of gangs and drug lords is being made unbearable and no amount of threat has deterred us, our law enforcement agencies and our courts have turned the screws on gangs and drug lords," Mr Ramatlakane said.
To date 1 658 high flyers were arrested over four years, at the same time 465 drug outlets were closed and 4 797 drug related arrests were affected, he said.
In the last five years, the police have seized dagga with a street value of R21 million, LSD tablets to the value of R77 150, crack to the value of R5.4 million, heroin to the value of R4.92 million, R354 160 of cocaine, R33 million of TIK, Unga Heroin to the value of R96 000 and Cat to the value of R256 200.
They have further seized mandrax with a street value of R20 million, Methcathinone valued at R107 100, Ecstacy worth R743 370 and Cocaine to the value of R24 million.
"In monetary value, the confiscated drugs is equal to the salary of 1 028 million individuals for a period of three years with a monthly salary of R3 000," said Mr Ramatlakane. - BuaNews