Thanks to the commitment of the Overstrand Municipality’s Protection Services Directorate another 14 interns successfully completed the Peace Officers training programme at the end of May 2023.
The Peace Officer programme forms part of the Western Cape Safety Plan (WCSP), which prioritises the strengthening of Municipal Law Enforcement capacity across the Western Cape, particularly to enhance urban/rural safety and combat crime within communities. More than R 1,075 million is being invested in these officers across the Province.
For the interns, the day was extra special because they received their certificates from the Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen, together with Overstrand Executive Mayor, Dr Annelie Rabie, Deputy Mayor Lindile Nstabo, Municipal Manager Dean O’Neill and Director of Protection Services, Neville Michaels.
With this Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) qualification, students have the opportunity to work shoulder to shoulder with permanent law enforcement members to gain practical experience of public and community safety work. As part of the programme, they will also receive further skills training and on-the-job experience which will equip them for permanent employment.
Minister Allen said his department made similar investments in the future of young adults in other municipalities in order to strengthen the arms of the police service and law enforcement. “This will go a long way in ensuring that greater safety is achieved,” he explained.
The Minister added that community safety successes in the region can only grow when it is a collective effort between different role players in the safety and security sector.
He applauded Overstrand Municipality for the commitment and dedication they have shown in promoting community and rural safety. He added that the Western Cape Government too will keep on stepping up to make sure that the police oversight role leads to better service delivery.
One of the graduates, Vachti Daniels, thanked the Department and Overstrand Municipality for the opportunity on behalf of the group and reflected on their journey. She said all the hard work had paid off and they had learnt how to foster relationships through tough training – quite literally finding the meaning behind the saying ‘through thick and thin’. She also praised fellow teammates for never leaving anyone behind during the training and study sessions.
Director of Protection Services, Neville Michaels reinforced that professional conduct must be used as a tool or guideline with the ability to think on their feet, and a level head to help them to interact with the public.
Another student, Ulrich Visagie, said they now have a better understanding of the law and what is expected of them. He believes this knowledge may open doors for them in the future. He concluded by saying: “A wise man once said: Before a leader becomes a great leader, he has to follow first.” And that is what this group of peace officers of Overstrand Municipality use as our motto: ‘We follow to lead’.
The Executive Mayor of Overstrand, Dr Annelie Rabie, congratulated the group of interns and said the Municipality need all hands on deck if we are to win the battle against crime.
Pictured here are the group of interns on graduation day with drill sergeant, Anati Makhendlana.