City, WCG mark milestone of 1 100 LEAP officers

11 Aug 2022 in Where We Govern

On Thursday, 11 August, the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government marked the milestone of 1 100 LEAP officers. The Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) aims to increase safety resources in crime hotspots around Cape Town. An official ceremony was held for officers at the newly established LEAP Base in Bishop Lavis today, Thursday, 11 August. These officers have already been deployed on the ground in Bishop Lavis and surrounds having completed the necessary training.

Since inception in 2019, LEAP has collectively delivered 1 100 new officers in communities impacted by high crime rates, including Delft, Nyanga, Khayelitsha (Site C), Philippi (inclusive of Hanover Park), Bishop Lavis, Mfuleni, Harare, Gugulethu, Kraaifontein, Mitchells Plain, Atlantis, Philippi East, and Samora Machel.

Premier Alan Winde said: ‘Today, we witnessed the official “passing out” parade of this batch of LEAP officers, who will further bolster safety in our communities in line with the Western Cape Government’s Safety Plan. Seeing all these new recruits joining the ranks of their colleagues gives me hope for a safer future. We need as many women and men in blue, not just patrolling communities where they are most needed to deter criminals, but also building relationships with our citizens and re-instilling faith in the fight against crime, which has been so eroded by years of SAPS mismanagement.

‘Putting more LEAP officers into our communities as a force multiplier, is just one aspect of our plan to arrest crime; and even though we do not have the core mandate, we have come this far with success, and we know we need to go even further. That is why we are taking the next steps toward the devolution of policing powers from National Government to the province. The plain fact is, under the National Government, policing is failing, and we need to urgently change this. The Constitution is on our side in terms of devolution – in fact, the Minister of Police can easily give us the responsibility already, if he cared about our residents. We have the zeal and the concern of our residents in mind, to dramatically improve law enforcement through devolution.’

Law Enforcement has more than tripled its arrest rate in recent years due to increased investment, with 50% of these arrests being drug-related. As of 31 July 2022, LEAP officers have made 8 500 arrests overall since the first deployment in February 2020. Over 220 guns have been taken off the streets in line with LEAP’s aim of helping the South African Police Service (SAPS) reduce murders and other violent crime.

The programme is making encouraging progress towards making Cape Town safer by investing in more  resources.

‘The LEAP programme is enabling us to do more to make Cape Town safer. Over and above these officers whose passing-out graduation we celebrate today, we are also investing in more than 230 new law enforcement and metro police officers this year alone, and hundreds of millions of rands in crime fighting tech in the city – from cameras to drones to gunshot location technology. While there are many brave SAPS officers, the police are vastly under-resourced and need our help to start winning the fight against crime. We are steadily asserting our crime prevention role on behalf of everyone who feels the impact of violent crime eating away at their sense of safety and comfort. We all have a constitutional right to safety, freedom of movement, and dignity – and crime quite literally robs us of that.’, said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.

‘Thanks to expanded powers for our officers, we can now go beyond by-law enforcement to tackle drug, gun, and gang-related crime. I am convinced now, more than ever, that we need to devolve even more powers to our municipal police. With more local policing power we can bolster the SAPS even more, and reduce crime in our City. In the coming weeks, we will be stepping up our efforts to take on more policing power for our law enforcement and metro police,’ added the Mayor.

All LEAP officers have undergone the required training, including Peace Officer Training, a Traffic Warden Certificate, and training in the City’s by-laws.

The new officers will enforce by-laws and assist enforcement agencies with crime prevention, which will include stop and searches and house searches in conjunction with SAPS.

‘Our officers are dedicated, well trained and care deeply about the communities that they serve which for many, are the very same communities they grew up in and live in today. We have 100 law enforcement officers here today who represent the bigger cohort of officers, who are currently deployed in the City and are removing firearms and drugs from our streets as we speak. We want to show you who the people are that are out on the streets every day, making a difference to our safety.

‘As the City, we need to continue to do more to support our LEAP officers so we have invested in improving the facilities where our staff work from. This Bishop Lavis facility is an example of our commitment to making sure our staff have the best resources to work from,’ said Alderman JP Smith, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security.

The strides made in increasing Law Enforcement resources make it evident that both the City and WCG are ready to play an even bigger role in crime prevention, helping the SAPS to make communities safer.

‘As our primary focus is to ensure that our residents live in safer environments, and in a dignified manner, we have to utilise every cent in an efficient manner. Since the launch of this highly effective programme, we’ve seen that over 1 000 officers could be deployed to achieve greater safety in our communities. The fourth quarter crime statistics of the 2021/22 financial year bears testament to the importance, need and effectiveness of LEAP. For many years, Nyanga was the murder capital of the country, but since LEAP’s deployment and intervention, it is no longer the case. The area of Gugulethu was a regular on the list of top 30 murder stations across the country, but due to LEAP’s intervention, it is no longer there. These, along with other successes are directly linked to the strategic deployment of LEAP officers.

‘We’re grateful for all our partners, which includes SAPS, the City, our neighbourhood watches, CPFs, private security and recognised safety structures. If we’re to be more effective in fighting crime, we need to be more organised and have much greater cooperation. My call, therefore is to unite against crime and work as one towards achieving safer communities,’ said Western Cape Minister for Community Safety, Reagen Allen.


An operational  base was also launched for LEAP officers deployed in Bishop Lavis. This building was formerly a housing office, and has since undergone a refurbishment.

A CCTV control room will also soon be operational in this facility to monitor the area and assist with convictions and despatch of officers to incidents. The facility has its own EPIC (Emergency Policing Incident Control) Centre where staff track and monitor live operational data. Officers stationed here will be able to plan, coordinate, and complete admin processes such as logging the fines that are issued on the portable EPIC devices.

This facility has also been fitted with solar panels, so that it is unaffected by Eskom’s blackouts. It is a small, but meaningful step to ensure that load-shedding does not impact on operational duties.


Making Cape Town safer is a top-tier priority in the City’s new Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

The City has allocated a record R5,4bn Safety Budget in 22/23, with funding for 230 more officers this year, and R86m for CCTV and new crime-fighting tech in 22/23. The City is also adding dashcams, bodycams for officers, and drones to its operations to the tune of over R85 million over the next three years. Over the same period, R66m has been budgeted for expanding the City’s law enforcement training college to produce even more well-trained officers.

The City is also due to launch an 80-officer strong Facility Protection Officer unit to protect frontline service delivery staff and key municipal buildings.

The Western Cape Government is backing these safety resource investments with a R712m LEAP investment to date. Some R400m has been budgeted for the 2022/23 financial year, bringing the investment to more than R1bn, as well as a separate funding allocation for the City’s K9 unit.

The City has further stepped up spending to resource neighbourhood watch groups, with R5,6 million this year for more training and equipment. The Western Cape Government is resourcing NWs with R5,7m.