Minister Alan Winde demands that Minister Cele gives us our fair share; second letter of demand sent
13 December 2018
Earlier this week, Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, sent a follow-up letter to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to urgently address the Western Cape Cabinet’s demands on the crisis of police under-resourcing in the Western Cape. We are 4 500 officers short. The greatest impact is felt at stations with extremely high crime levels.
Minister Winde said: “The Western Cape government is deeply disappointed that Minister Bheki Cele failed to act on the initial letter that was sent on 10 October 2018, requesting a response in 30 days.
The national government is obligated by law to take the provincial government’s advice on policing needs. Our dedicated police officers are crying out for additional resources, the lack of which is preventing them from effectively carrying out their mandate of keeping our people safe.
Our offer of R5 million for police reservists is immediately available, as are our more than 84 000 Western Cape government employees, which can be deployed for various administrative duties, such as being commissioners of oaths, to relieve police officers from their desks so they can focus on patrols.
Winde continued: “We acknowledge that some strides have been made, including the launch of the anti-gang unit, and the new Samora Machel police station, but I have questions.
In respect of the anti-gang unit, whose work we support, I am awaiting the police’s response as to whether these officers were drawn from other stations, and if so, what is the plan to replace them so that these communities are not left short staffed?
There is still a lot that needs to be addressed – predominantly the need for our fair share of officers.”
The 2018 crime stats clearly show that the Western Cape Government’s initiatives to make this a safer province are working, and we celebrate structures like our neighborhood watches for the role they are playing. Their good work is evident in the reduction in the categories of crime where community partnerships can have a significant impact, for example the 6,8% decrease in property-related crime.
There was also a significant 23% increase in arrests over the same period, which is partly a result of increased involvement by the community to help and support the police in detecting criminals.
“We call on the Minister to respond to our letter of demand for our fair share of officers, and to urgently take up our reservist funding so that we can put a halt to crime in our province.
“We are fighting for our fair share on behalf of all Western Cape communities who are living in fear.”