A grand slam for safety

Tennis superstars Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal practise a few shots on the Grand Parade. Picture: Reg Caldecott

The neighbourhood watch, police and other stakeholders praised the organisers of the Match in Africa between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, saying it was one of the most well organised events at Cape Town Stadium.

This was heard at this month’s Sea Point SAPS sector meeting on Monday February 10.

The meeting covers crime issues affecting three sectors in the area.

Sector 1 includes Green Point and Mouille Point; Sector 2, upper Sea Point and Fresnaye; and Sector 3, lower Sea Point and Bantry Bay.

The match raised R54.6 million for the Roger Federer Foundation and also set a new Guinness World Record, with 51 954 people attending a single tennis match.

The meeting heard that there were no crime incidents reported and the traffic was not as chaotic as it was expected to be. The members admitted that they hadn’t been at an event as big as this one since the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Lieutenant-Colonel Christo Engelbrecht said the police had enough manpower to deal with anything on the day of the event.

Ward 54 councillor Nicola Jowell said most people didn’t bring their cars into Green Point, instead they opted to walk.

“Scores of people were walking in groups to the stadium. The parking and traffic was not as chaotic as expected.

Everything was well-organised,” she said.

Sharing these sentiments, chairman of the Green Point Neighbourhood Watch, Charles Scheltema said there were no issues raised by residents.

Mr Scheltema said more needs to be done to prepare for Western Province Rugby moving to the Cape Town Stadium from Newlands next year.

Another issue raised at the meeting was an increase in robberies, particularly business robberies.

Sea Point Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairwoman, Heather Tager, saidmost business robberies happened during loadshedding hours in Sea Point.

The chairman of the sector meeting, Derek Salter noted that there was an increase in all three sectors in most crimes and asked whether residents should be concerned about this and what could be done.

Mr Scheltema said even though they’ve been raising awareness on this, residents are still leaving their valuables visible in their cars. “People leave what they think is just loose change in their cars and for other people, it’s more than just change. People need to be aware of this,” he said.

Lieutenant Colonel Engelbrecht said more people need to get involved in the effort to fight crime. “The police can’t do everything on their own. We need help from residents as well. Look at the turnout for this meeting. We have three sectors and a few resources. Let’s all work together to fight crime,” he said.