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WC paramedics provided with additions safety equipment

Premier Helen Zille's administration launched Operation Khuseleka to assist EMS staff who find themselves in dangerous situations.

FILE: Paramedics attend to a patient in Cape Town, Western Cape. Picture: Anthony Molyneux/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government is providing additional safety equipment to paramedics following a spate of robberies against emergency services staff.

During her State of the Province Address on Friday, Premier Helen Zille said her administration launched Operation Khuseleka to assist EMS staff who find themselves in dangerous situations.

There have been more than 200 attacks on EMS staff in the province between 2012 and 2016 and the Western Cape Health Department sees at least five attacks per month.

This has resulted in some areas being identified as “red zones”.

Zille says the incidents are a great concern.

“Let’s take the moment to appreciate in particular our emergency services staff who while going about their duty of saving lives, have been subject to increasing attacks by criminals.”

She adds they are providing support to the staff.

“We have launched Operation Khuseleka as a means of supporting our staff including counselling, additional safety equipment and building coalitions with local neighbourhood watches.”

The "red zone" areas include:

Browns Farm in Phillipi
Tafelsig
Hyden Park
Nyanga
Gugulethu
New Crossroads
Manenberg
Hanover Park
Kalksteenfontein,
Site C in Khayelitsha
J-Section in Khayelitsha