The community of Winnie Mandela Park, an informal settlement in Tembisa, has rolled up its sleeves and tackled crime head on. Their efforts have been so successful that crime statistics for the area have come down significantly.
Emperor’s Palace casino, together with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and Community Monitoring Services (a private security firm), was involved
in developing the Winnie Mandela Community Project.
The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Council also gave its support.
To get the project off the ground, detailed maps of the Winnie Mandela Park area had to be developed. Due to the lack of street names, easy-to-recognise landmarks had to be included on the maps. Phone booths, large buildings, taverns and even hairdressing salons were used to help people find their way around the settlement.
This project is the first of its kind in Tembisa. It uses community volunteers
who are trained to patrol the streets in the Winnie Mandela area. They inform
SAPS and the Community Monitoring Services’ control room of any potential
From the very beginning, the project had positive results.
following crime statistics showed a huge improvement in one year:
• Violent crimes, such as murder, attempted murder and robbery with the use
of firearms, came down by 44%;
• Hijackings came down by 44%;
• Rape and assault came down by 10%;
• Theft, burglaries and house robberies came down by 52%;
• Vandalism and arson (setting fire to property) came down by an amazing
The project uses cellphones to keep all participating community members informed. They receive SMSs to tell them to be on the lookout for specific vehicles, or to avoid certain areas. These people pass the information on to their neighbours. Residents also use SMSs to alert SAPS and the control room
to things happening on the ground.
The Winnie Mandela area is divided into 25 blocks, with a resident on each
block taking up the position of block captain. Their job is to manage all the
patrols within the boundaries of a particular block. This makes it easier to manage the whole area effectively.
It is possible to create safer communities by getting a community involved.
If you are serious about a safer community, take hands. Join a community initiative and get involved.
- You don’t have to be a hero.
- You don’t have to run after and arrest criminals.
- You don’t have to pay ANY money.
We only need your eyes and ears.
Here is how to:
- Download the free, superfast, superlight on data and higly effective App, Telegram (https://telegram.org/) – its like Whatsapp on steroids.
- Install then edit your profile on Telegram.
- Look for a field called “username”.
- Choose a username and save your profile. (Usernames are unique, check your username’s availability and add numbers to make it unique)
- Go to the search field of Telegram.
- Type @joincc and click “Join Concerned Citizens” when the group appears.
- Follow the instructions.
- Get at least one other person to also join.