Following concerns of crime in Cape Town, 500 new law enforcement officers have been deployed in the Western Cape, making the province safer for tourists.

The new officers are part of the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement Advancement Programme (LEAP), which is jointly funded by the Western Cape Government in line with the Western Cape Safety Plan.

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, said: “We promised the people of this province that we would do everything in our power to make it a safer place to live. Today, the Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town will be significantly boosting the number of boots on the ground, as a deterrent to crime in communities most impacted by it.”

This follows an incident in Khayelitsha, reported by Tourism Update in January, in which a group visiting in a tour bus were robbed. The incident sparked concern for the safety of tourists in Cape Town.

Winde said this was just one aspect of the safety plan and that a wide range of initiatives across departments were being implemented.

One such initiative, dedicated specifically to keeping tourists safe, is the Travel Wise project, which was implemented over the festive season by Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos.

When he spoke to Tourism Update at the time, Vos made it clear that, while the Travel Wise initiative proved successful in providing tourists with reassurance and comfort, the responsibility of policing was primarily that of the South African Police Service as the lead agency.

The 500 newly qualified law enforcement officers will be deployed to communities such as Khayelitsha, in what is the first step of a multi-phase roll-out.

“Today is evidence of how much more we can achieve when we work together, and I look forward to continuing this partnership with the Western Cape Government, which will see even more law enforcement officers on the streets of Cape Town,” said Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town.