Deputy Police Minister Makhotso Sotyu says the review of the safety and security white paper will not seek to abolish the metro police.
This comes after the City of Cape Town said it would fight tooth and nail to retain the country’s metro police service.
At the first council meeting last month, mayor Patricia de Lille said the existence of the metro police was being threatened by the draft white paper under the SA Police Service’s civilian secretariat.
Sotyu, who was speaking at the opening of the 10th International Centre for Prevention of Crime (ICPC) Colloquium in Cape Town Monday night, said: “It’s not about abolishing offices but about (creating better) security clusters.”
The colloquium, which will run until Wednesday, is discussing Integrated Approaches to Crime Prevention and Safety.
Sotyu reiterated President Jacob Zuma’s call in the State of the Nation Address that the government would not be complacent in the fight against crime.
“As the government we are not (doing) enough. We need to do more. We are still facing challenges – hate crimes, sophisticated cybercrime, gender-based sexual crimes, poverty, inequality and unemployment. It is very timely that the colloquium takes place.
“We must integrate and innovate in crime prevention,” Sotyu said.
SA Human Rights Commission deputy chairwoman Pregs Govender delivered the keynote address.
She said the theme of the colloquium spoke not only of the critical short-term challenges but also long-term goals of crime prevention and safety.
Govender said that when apartheid was declared a crime against humanity, it showed that crime came in many guises and that they could enforce poverty, inequality and unemployment through trade agreements, and the allowance of companies to relocate to produce cheaply using child labour and other examples.
She asked: “How will these crimes (against the poor) be prevented?”
Earlier the Director of the UN Habitat regional office for Africa, Axumite Gebre-Egziabher said crime had the highest impact on the urban poor.
“Crime integrates with insecurity in favelas in Brazil, slums in India and townships in SA. We need to take a special look at (poor areas) to prevent crime… through planning in phases, an enlightened public service, responsible business, political will, policies and management,” she said.
Later the president of the ICPC, Chantal Bernier, told the audience that community threats had multiple factors and multiple approaches. She said organisational culture, specialised expertise, intellectual capacity and organisational structures should be looked at to create change.