Crime fighters across the northern suburbs were honoured at the City’s Neighbourhood Watch Awards at the weekend.
Fern Park Neighbourhood Watch from Brackenfell walked away with the “broken windows” award; Vic Barra, from the Monte Vista watch, won the “organisational excellence” award; Shakir Smith, chairman of the Parow West watch, won the “mobiliser of the year” award; and Theo Gallaway, chairman of the Chrismar, Bellville Neighbourhood Watch, and Paul Kruger, chairman of the Panorama Kleinbosch Welgelegen Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch, won the “member of the year” award.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, two representatives from each of the watches nominated in the 10 categories attended the ceremony while other members watched the proceedings online.
Shakir Smith, who took up his role in March, said that the award was a testimony to the efforts of all who served on the watch.
He was humbled by the commitment of the watch’s members and grateful that the team had nominated him, he said.
“I believed that it was possible to grow our organisation and get like-minded people to believe in that possibility too,” he said.
Working together, the Parow West community could create a safe space for residents and claim back “their beautiful suburb”, he said.
Vic Barra said winning the award had come as a surprise, but it would not have been possible without the support of his patrollers and executive team.
“A leader is only as strong as the team he manages,” he said.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said he was proud of the “well-oiled machines” all neighbourhood watches had become.
“I am proud to be associated with the hundreds of volunteers who exhibit care, dedication and innovation in serving their communities, and I stand behind them 100% in their efforts to make Cape Town safe for us all. Our neighbourhood watches understand the importance of active citizenship and exercise this daily through their selfless volunteer initiatives, all in the name of safety,” he said.