Dainfern is one of Johannesburg’s most well known lifestyle estates. Boasting a golf course designed by Gary Player, the upmarket estate offers its residents a secure lifestyle and exclusive recreational facilities. In the nearby vicinity is Diepsloot, a sprawling informal settlement that looks nothing like the leafy green Dainfern. Problems in this community include severe poverty, crime and lack of access to opportunity.
The Diepsloot Community Policing Forum (CPF) is a group of residents seeking to address some of the area’s crime problems, but without transport, this remains a struggle. The Dainfern Homeowners Association and Dainfern Fellowship have partnered with Qhubeka to provide 10 bicycles to the CPF. Mobilising CPF members with transport means that they are able to travel faster and more safely, and to assist the police with patrolling the area.
Here is a report of the handover event by Ann Arnott, writing for the Dainfern magazine:
Dainfern donates bicycles to the Diepsloot Community Policing Forum
We are all probably aware of the sprawling informal settlement to the north known as Diepsloot. It’s to this place that people have flocked as they seek the dream of work and a better life in the big cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg. In some places, the shacks are so close together that you have to walk sideways to get to the other side.
The unemployment rate is high and there is tension between the locals and illegal immigrants. Trying to keep order and police the area is near impossible. This is why, since 2006, patrols have been undertaken by volunteers, to assist the stretched resources of the SAPS.
In a report published by Anton Harber in the Daily Maverick in October 2013, the lack of transport was highlighted as a hindrance in the patrolling and policing of this rambling settlement. Often, at night, patrollers had to pack into a police van, to be taken to another section, while others waited in the cold, dark shadows for the van to return for the next load. Understandably, response times to any kind of unrest or disturbance were completely unpredictable under these circumstances.
For the residents, there is a strong desire to make this place safe for themselves and their families. The Community Policing Forum is an integral part of the support structure surrounding the police force there, but these dedicated volunteers are hampered by lack of mobility.
It therefore made perfect sense, when The Dainfern Homeowners Association, Dainfern Fellowship and Qhubeka considered the donation of bicycles to aid the community of Diepsloot, to entrust these bicycles to the members of the Diepsloot CPF. Giving these volunteers mobility so that they can assist the police and help to patrol schools, shops and other community facilities more effectively, will ultimately ensure that Diepsloot becomes a safer place.
Last month, ten bicycles were handed over to members of the Diepsloot CPF at a meeting held at the Diepsloot Police Station. Station Commander, Colonel Balatse, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the Diepsloot community and the SAPS for the kind donation of the bicycles and assured all present that the bicycles would go a long way towards assisting the police in their work.
Letter from the Diepsloot CPF:
Good afternoon all,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the good people of Dainfern Home Association, its management ad all organisers who have graciously donated 10 bicycles to our community of Diepsloot through the Community policing Forum under the leadership of SAPS Diepsloot management.
The smiles are priceless in the faces of our CPF members who joyfully wheel out their new bikes in preventing and fighting crime.
On behalf on the Dieplsoot community I humbly appreciate your generosity and assure you that the donation will be used and taken care of effectively.
Peter Thomo Molatjane