German bank funds Cape Town projects worth millions

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

Drakenstein and Theewaterskloof municipalities are set to benefit from a crime prevention plan costing R71-million and fully funded by the KfW German Bank over the next four years, it was announced this week (on THURSDAY, June 19 2014).

German ambassador ambassador Horst Freitag back left and Helen Zille next to him during the R71 million agreement signing. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

German ambassador ambassador Horst Freitag back left and Helen Zille next to him during the R71 million agreement signing. Pic by Yazeed Kamaldien

Western Cape premier Helen Zille, German ambassador Horst Freitag and provincial government and KfW representatives signed the R71-million agreement.

In a joint statement, the government and its project funders said proposed projects for the various municipalities would include:

In Drakenstein:
· The Groenheuwel library and community centre are to be upgraded; and
· Lighting to be improved in certain areas in order to increase the safety of pedestrians.

In Swartland and Saldanha Bay:
· Pedestrian routes and walkways to be made safer; and
· The integration of schools, early childhood development centers and sport facilities to be prioritised in order to promote a safe environment for children and the youth.

In Theewaterskloof:
· A community police forum to be established and CCTV cameras installed in strategic areas;
· Infrastructure, such as water purification, sewage and the provision of electricity to be improved.

In Breede Valley:
· A community safety forum to be established; and
· Active boxes or safe houses to be built in certain areas.

Municipalities had to undergo a tender process for the German funds.

Zille explained: “We looked at where it will be successful. We needed to look at whether there’s competence to do the job.”

“The funding will be used to roll out the highly successful Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) programme… We need to come up for a better acronym for this programme though,” added Zille.

She also said the project would “chase down illegal shebeens in areas where other businesses can develop”.

In their joint statement, the partners confirmed this “programme has already been implemented by the City of Cape Town in partnership with the German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development (BMZ) and the German Development Bank (KfW) since 2005, with the aim of improving living conditions and reducing crime at the same time.”

“It has been rolled out in a number of areas in the city, including Harare in Khayelitsha. The project is about creating infrastructural improvements through innovative urban planning and promoting active citizenship in communities, which in turn increases safety in these areas.”

It continued: “A total of R291-million has been made available by Germany so far to increase the safety and security of people in Khayelitsha and to generally improve living conditions.”

“Another key priority under this programme has been the reduction of murder and violence. In the VPUU areas in Khayelitsha, murder rates have decreased by 33%, compared with 20% in other areas – a 13% difference.”
Zille said: “Women are also benefitting from the well-lit pedestrian routes that have been established in the area and now feel safer coming home from work, even at night.”

Freitag said Germany the R71-million agreement was part of the German government’s R5,89-billion German-South African cooperation agreement signed with the country’s national finance minister Nhanhla Nene on June 13 2014.

He said this agreement was within a framework of “stabilising Africa”.

“South Africa is an important and indispensible partner to promote stability in southern and sub-Saharan Africa. If Africa is to become a continent of the future and of growing opportunities, as we want it to be, then we need to overcome remaining challenges and risks,” said Freitag.

“You need strong partners. We have to work to stabilise Africa. We should not turn a blind eye to it. It’s in our own interest. If there’s a strong partner from the south, and we will find other partners, so much the better.”

Zille cautioned: “We don’t need to be suspicious of people’s motivations… I’m glad that people are still investing in us. They could say, ‘Goodbye, you now have your democracy’.”

“In a Europe that’s battling to recover from a major financial crisis, they are still investing R5,9-billion to ensure that South Africa can succeed.”

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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