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AfriForum’s neighbourhood watches in the northern region on 30 July 2021 participated in the civil rights organisation’s national patrol in their various areas to increase policing visibility. The patrol was undertaken in cooperation with the SAPS, local community policing forums, community members, various security companies and other safety institutions.   

Altogether 660 AfriForum members in Gauteng (331), Limpopo (81) and Mpumalanga (248) and 41 other institutions covered in total more than 30 169 km in 393 vehicles. The patrol started at approximately 16:00 on Friday 30 July and continued until 06:00 on Saturday 31 July.  

The neighbourhood watches in Gauteng, that covered a total of 13 900 km in 191 vehicles, offered support during 31 incidents in the province. These incidents include the apprehension of reckless and drunk drivers, the prevention of armed robberies and various roadblocks where people were arrested for the possession of drugs.   

In Limpopo, 64 vehicles covered a total of 3 132 km during the patrol. Help was summoned after housebreakings took place, while possible other housebreakings were also prevented. There was also an attempted vehicle theft that was successfully thwarted in cooperation with the SAPS.    

The neighbourhood watches in Mpumalanga covered a total of 13 137 km and successfully handled 15 incidents in cooperation with the SAPS and other safety institutions. 

“Visibility plays a crucial role in the combating of crime and AfriForum’s northern region neighbourhood watches will continuously tackle projects and regularly organise patrols to combat crime in cooperation with the SAPS and other safety institutions,” says Llewellynn Hemmens, AfriForum’s Head of Community Safety for the northern region. “I would also like to thank the following groups for their support during this patrol and that we can always count on their cooperation: The Heritage Protection Group (HPG), the Rural Safety Police, the SAPS, various CPF groups, as well as many security companies.” 

Andries Opperman, AfriForum’s Provincial Safety Coordinator for Limpopo, thanked the neighbourhood watch members for their selfless service. “We are seeing through actions such as these how communities are in a professional and disciplined manner – within the framework of the law – taking ownership of their own safety and are purposefully establishing a network of cooperation through which they can ensure their prosperous existence. Criminals withdraw themselves from a community that is visible and prepared and can cooperate.”     

“National patrols has a big impact on crime prevention in the area and lower crime rates have been reported when actions like these are taking place. It definitely helps to keep the people in our province safe,” says Hennie Bekker, AfriForum’s district coordinator for the Lowveld.

Become involved with AfriForum’s neighbourhood watches today and help to safeguard your town: SMS “Buurtwag” to 45342 (R1). 

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