The City of Cape Town has taken the first step towards declaring “crime hotspots” as disaster zones, amidst what was described as an “ongoing failure of policing”.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille had sought legal advice on the matter.
The legal opinion “will seek to explore whether the City can declare the serious violent crime taking place in parts of the city as a disaster in these areas”, he said in a media release.
“The exact areas will be chosen after the soon-to-be-released official crime statistics are considered,” he added.
“In the context of the on-going failure of policing at the hands of national government, the legal opinion will seek to treat identified crime hotspots as it would any other disaster areas by making available additional policing and other resources to prevent crime and stabilise such communities.
“The legal opinion will also explore whether the City can claim additional resources from the national government in lieu of failure of the national police to secure certain communities,” Smith said.
A disaster is defined as an occurrence which causes or threatens to cause death, injury, disease, damage to property or disruption to the life of a community; and is of a magnitude that exceeds the ability of those affected by the disaster to cope with it using only their own resources.