North West, Mahikeng: The Department of Community Safety and Transport Management has donated used bicycles to the Riviera Park Safety Forum in Mahikeng.
The bicycles will be utilised by the Forum’s daily patrollers, who do rounds in the area and have been doing so by foot. This has made their work difficult.
The Chief Director for the Provincial Civilian Secretariat for Police Service, Mpho Maleme, encouraged the Riviera Park Safety Forum, which is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), to follow processes of partnering with the Department to fight crime in the area.
“We will guide you on the processes that you should follow to form a partnership with the Department. We do have a programme through our Directorate of Crime Prevention and Partnerships, where we fund NPOs and continue with a partnership to fight crime.
“It is only through an integrated approach for us to win the battle against crime, and our communities play a huge role in this instance,” said Maleme, handing over bicycles.
The Forum’s Chairperson, Professor Melvin Mbao, appreciated the gesture from the Department and said this is the beginning of collaborative engagement for greater things.
He said the Riviera Park Safety Forum is a small organisation which they established two and half years ago following a spate of criminal activities in the area, mostly during the day.
“We experienced mostly housebreakings, especially during the day, because thieves know that most people would be at work, and they also targeted elderly households.
“It is as a result that we then established this Forum, which, for now, we only have two daily patrollers. We have limited resources, and so far, we contribute on a monthly basis per household,” said Prof Mbau, who was accompanied by the Forum’s secretary, Martin Woodbridge and their two patrollers.
So far, the Forum has managed to clear bushes around Riviera Park, especially on empty spaces, and further installed a security camera in the area.
Professor Mbau said the Forum has, to date, a 770 household membership; they intend to eliminate criminal activities and make their area a safer place of residence.
The donated bicycles were damaged and returned to the Department from their initial beneficiaries, learners who travel between 3-5 kilometres to school daily.