State Security Deputy Minister, Zizi Kodwa, and Gauteng Premier David Makhura have pledged to strengthen ties and working relations between their two entities in tackling threats and risks that threaten the stability of the province.
The pledge was made on Friday when the two leaders met in Johannesburg at a meeting attended by several Gauteng government MECs, Mayors and Members of Mayoral Councils from various Districts and Local Municipalities.
In a joint statement, State Security and the Premier’s Office said the meeting was convened as part of an effort to strengthen security in the province and to respond proactively.
The Deputy Minister said that the State Security Agency took very seriously the need to improve coordination of intelligence information among the services and the strengthening of relations between these agencies and provincial and local leadership in government.
“We are glad that the stakeholders have responded positively to the call for better coordination and information sharing and as the Agency we are more than determined to ensure that this constant interaction and working together is maintained to avoid the negative experience of July,” he said.
Makhura also commended the initiative and pleaded that the stakeholders must continue to work together to confront the challenges facing the province.
“I am glad that the agency has initiated this program because more than ever before, we need the law enforcement agencies and government to work together to confront the challenges that threaten the stability of the Province,” said Premier Makhura.
He added that the involvement of mayors was more critical in this venture because as the coalface of service delivery.
The agency and other law enforcement agencies need to work closely together with Mayors at local level, to map the issues and the level of risks in various localities so that we are better able to respond to these as government, he said.
Some of the issues which were flagged as triggers and threats to the stability of the province included the worrying factor of the proliferation of illegal immigrants in the province, the challenge of unused mines which attracted illegal mining activities, illicit drug trafficking, violent crime and extortion and lack of enforcement of by-laws by municipalities.
The Deputy Minister and the Premier said that working together of all spheres of government in tackling these issues would go a long way to avoid such incidents reoccurring.
“We do not have the luxury to rest in our laurels, we must strengthen collaboration and address these collectively for the sake of people of South Africa and the stability of the province and the country as a whole,” they said.