In keeping with the 16 Days of Activism campaign, the Women’s Network and Men for Change launched the ‘Time to lend a hand project’, recently. Police officers united to deliver joy to 100 children, who attend Collingwood Primary School. This is due to the generous sponsorship by Honda Motors SA, based in Gauteng. Communications officer of Chatsworth SAPS, Cpt Cheryl Pillay shared that it was a joyous day at the Durban Christian Centre Church in Wentworth.
“In support of the SAPS schools project, police have undertaken to assist Collingwood Primary School in Wentworth. During the heavy storm in April 2019, the school suffered major damages. The roof of the building was blown off leaving the children to have their classes in temporary prefab buildings. This saddened the hearts of many police officers, which resulted in the SAPS adopting the school. An appeal was made to Honda South Africa to partner with the SAPS to assist the children. The team at Honda Motors SA heeded to the call. Their pledge has sown the seed of blessings into the lives of the future generation,” she said.
The policing precinct of Wentworth falls in a suburb south of Durban, which has been plagued over the years by drugs and gangsterism. The police officers remain committed to addressing the root causes of crime through crime prevention initiatives within the Wentworth policing precinct and surrounding areas. The former EIS cluster introduced a project plan, which was effective from January 2020, to disorganise and disable the criminal economy linked to gangsterism, drugs and firearm supply.
The relationship between gangs, drugs and criminal activity is evident in Wentworth. The impact of gangsterism, alcohol and substance abuse continues to ravage families, communities and society.
“The rate of unemployment and poverty has worsened where youth are targeted to carry out acts of violence. Certain types of prescription drugs, such as Lean cough mixture, are also prevalent in schools. We remain committed to fostering closer relationships with the community at large to create a safe and secure environment for all. The plan is an integrated approach where ownership and involvement of all role-players within the SAPS and externally will be engaged to address the crime rate in the area,” she added.
The environmental design of the Wentworth mainly comprises of residential flats. Throughout the years, known drug dealers have infiltrated these flats where the drug trade has grown. Although police as well as government and the CPF have attempted to promote social cohesion to stabilise the community, it has proven futile.
The presence of Col Khubisa from the office of the eThekwini district commander restored faith to the community of Wentworth that police remain committed towards creating a safer city.
The deputy principal of Collingwood Primary School, Mrs Greeves expressed her love to the role-players. She referred to the police as ‘angels directed by God to assist the school’. Cpt Pillay, who is the Women’s Network champion, expressed the heartfelt joy of the police, who have made a wonderful difference.
“This random act of kindness will remain embedded in the hearts of the children, teachers and families. We need to stand as a collective both in prayer and physically join police in taking back the streets of Wentworth. Sharing the day was Mr Anderson, the community policing forum chairman, who also pastors a church in Wentworth. Another stalwart, Pst Takalani Mufamadi of Grace Tabernacle was also present. With both inspiring leaders come wisdom and faithfulness to the people of Wentworth. They are serving the people of Wentworth, asking for nothing in return but to live in love. Col Trevor Small, the Men for Change champion, humbly asked everyone in attendance to join their hearts with the police and the CPF in committing towards making Wentworth a crime-free and drug-free zone,” she concluded.
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