JP Smith has set the record straight about the City’s Robocops.
This comes after the Daily Voice spoke to a member of the Law Enforcement’s Stabilisation Unit (SU), aka Robocops, last week who said they were without jobs after their contracts ended on September 30.
The unit was formed to help combat gang violence on the Cape Flats.
However Smith, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, says the unit was not being disbanded and is in fact still
He explained that the contracts of the 90 SU members and 36 School Resource Officers (SROs) ended under the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) but most have been renewed.
“The unit is still running and 74 of the 120  staff continued without interruption. Some of the remainder will be gradually re-employed on the same EPWP basis as before,” wrote Smith.
“There was a reduction in funding for these 2 units [SU and SRO] on a corporate level [from R11.4m to R3.2m with a further R3m coming now also from the Western Cape Government] which impacted on the continuity and led to the disruption.
“Safety & Security has been gradually repurposing budget [R1.38m so far] from other policing activities across the directorate to find funding for this critical project. “
He added: “The EPWP policing project [SU and SRO] has delivered amazing results and is a good example of how innovative local government can be when faced by massive resource challenges and huge gang violence problems which national government is failing to address.
“Instead of recoiling from this challenge and making up excuses, I found a creative way to address this, which created jobs, created accredited skills and has now led to full-time staff positions being created.”