Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi proudly introduced a group of 2000 newly trained Crime Prevention Wardens (CPWs), also known as Panyaza Police or ‘Ama Panya-panya’, during a pass-out parade held on Sunday, June 4.
The wardens join the existing force of 4000 CPWs who have been actively working on the streets of Gauteng since May, contributing to public safety and addressing youth unemployment.
The pass-out parade, held at Tsakani Stadium in Ekurhuleni, was led by Premier Lesufi, who commended the wardens for their efforts in combating crime.
He highlighted the positive impact they have already made, emphasizing the significant number of arrests they have achieved.
Addressing the packed stadium, Premier Lesufi expressed his commitment to deploying the wardens where they are most needed to ensure community protection.
He highlighted the eradication of muggings and bullying in public spaces, as well as the crackdown on drug sales and the selling of substandard goods in local spaza shops. Furthermore, Lesufi emphasized the aim of eliminating the fear caused by gunshots in the communities during nighttime.
“We are releasing you to protect our communities,” stated Premier Lesufi, assuring the wardens of their essential role in safeguarding the citizens of Gauteng.
Responding to criticisms of the initiative, Premier Lesufi highlighted the positive impact on the lives of the young wardens.
He mentioned that just five months ago, they were among the many unemployed individuals, but now they are not only employed but also actively protecting communities on a daily basis. He emphasized the economic benefits they bring to their families through their salaries.
Expressing gratitude for the wardens’ discipline, Premier Lesufi acknowledged initial challenges in the program but assured the audience that those issues had been resolved.
He also affirmed that ongoing training would be provided to the wardens to further enhance their abilities in community protection.
The peace wardens are an integral part of an integrated crime prevention strategy in Gauteng, which includes the use of drones, helicopters, and CCTV cameras in all townships.
Premier Lesufi announced that cameras have already been installed in Diepsloot, and plans are underway to install them in other crime-prone areas such as Tsakane, Tembisa, and Katlehong.
Expressing his determination to combat lawlessness, Premier Lesufi issued a warning to those who engage in unlawful activities, particularly citing the recent incidents at Maponya Mall involving taxi drivers. He assured the citizens of Gauteng that with the wardens fully trained, equipped, and armed, lawlessness would not be tolerated in the province.
Furthermore, Premier Lesufi emphasized the role of the wardens in preventing the proliferation of informal settlements and reclaiming the streets from criminals.
He assured the public that the wardens would be provided with the necessary training, resources, and support to ensure the safety of communities.
More jobs on Youth Day
Additionally, Premier Lesufi took the opportunity to announce that on this year’s Youth Day celebrations on June 16, the Gauteng Government would advertise 8,000 permanent job positions in an effort to combat unemployment and fight poverty.
He further revealed that in July, 8,000 new posts for Green Officers would also be advertised.
The introduction of these trained Crime Prevention Wardens marks a significant step forward in enhancing public safety in Gauteng, demonstrating the government’s commitment to safeguarding communities and addressing social issues such as unemployment and poverty.