02 November 2017
AFUS Shines the Light on Implementation of Safer Cities Strategy
The second day of the Africa Forum for Urban Safety (AFUS) Learning Exchange Conference continued on Day one’s momentum, shining the light on the outcomes of the implementation of the Safer Cities strategy since the inception of the Safer Cities Network 20 years ago.
The Safer Cities Programme in South Africa commenced in 1996 in Johannesburg and a second pilot was introduced in Durban in 1998.
The delegates and speakers at the learning exchange interrogated and delved deep on the value and delivery of Safer Cities strategy in Africa.
The Co-ordinator of the Safer Cities Programme at the UN Habitat, Juma Assiago said that it was important for the cities to evaluate if the Safer Cities strategy was implemented correctly and if it was yielding any positive results towards meeting the goals of the new urban agenda. “African cities need to look at a broad definition of safety and how to improve on crime prevention. We have come a long way and are proud of the fact that today the concept of Safer Cities is institutionalised in the structures of local government structures in majority of African countries,” said Assiago. He further explained that the Safer Cities strategy was not about policing but about managing the inadequacies presented in urban environments.
The role of open spaces in enhancing safety in communities also came to the fore.
The delegates and speakers agreed that if open spaces are turned into social spaces, crime levels will be reduced drastically.
Bongumusa Zondo of eThekwini Municipality said that the City has a long-term plan that aims to ensure that all who live and work within the Municipality feel safe in their private and public spaces. “The Municipality’s approach is to interrogate the factors of crime and advocate for a collaborative justice system. Policing, community empowerment and urban management has proved to be effective,” Zondo concluded.
In Durban, the City Safety Plan was developed as part of the City’s Integrated Area Development Plan. Both strategies have been used as a source of reference for the development of a national framework on safer cities anchored under the Integrated Urban Development Policy.
The day ended off with a tour to the KwaMashu Business Against Crime Project and the KwaMashu Freedom Park.
Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.
Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: