South African citizens have been called on to help government in building safer and more secure communities and help in setting up a new nationwide anti-crime campaign.
Briefing the media after an anti-crime workshop, the Department of Defence Deputy Minister Mluleki George said government believed that through joint activities, safer and secure South Africa is possible.
He said government wanted to set up a major anti-crime initiative with the help of the country's people.
The workshop, which was attended by a wide range of sectors including civil society, business, academics, researchers, gender-based organisations, religious and traditional leaders, was aimed at discussing ways to best to respond to the crime situation in the country.
Government believes that every citizen has a role to play in combating crime in the country, said Mr George, adding that it was well documented that partnerships with communities and neighbourhoods have yielded good results.
"We would like to mobilise all stakeholders into an effective partnership with government and law enforcement agencies in the fight," Mr George said.
"We further wish to call upon ordinary citizens to volunteer at their local police stations, joint community policing fora and desist from buying stolen goods."
Communities can get involved by forming street committees, neighbourhood committees and reporting all crime activities, he said.
Such high level participation from sectors will not only contribute to safer environment but will restore confidence of citizens in their ability to act against crime and contribute to a safer environment.
In its many efforts to curb the high levels of crime in the country, government has formed and involved itself with various partnerships and initiatives.
These include the Anti-Crime Leadership Forum, Business Against Crime, ACT Against Crime Together; the Take Charge campaign; Bambanani and the Primedia Crime Stop number among others.
Responding to questions, Mr George dismissed reports that government was not responding to the escalating crime levels.
He noted that despite the reduction or stabilisation in some categories of crime government acknowledges that the level of violent crimes in the country is high.
"As a result various steps have been taken in order to reduce these high levels of crime.
"Our action to make South Africa a safer place is echoed within the National Crime Prevention Strategy," he said explaining that that through this approach significant impacts in the crime situation have been made. - BuaNews
Compiled by the Government Communication and Information System