Minister Fritz Calls on Minister Cele to Address WC Crime in Budget Vote Speech
Minister Fritz Calls on Minister Cele to Address Western Cape Crime in Budget Vote Speech
Tomorrow, the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele will deliver his budget vote speech in the National Assembly. The Minister of Community Safety, Albert Fritz, is calling on Minister Cele to urgently prioritise the spate of gang-related violence and criminality in the Western Cape.
The Department of Community Safety is constitutionally mandated to provide oversight over policing in the Western Cape. In fulfilling this role, it was found that between January and the end of June 2019, there were 1995 unnatural deaths caused by gunshots and sharp objects. In June 2018 alone, there were 344 such alleged murder admissions. However, in June 2019, this number increased and now sits at 448 admissions.
Minister Fritz said, “The need for the Western Cape to be prioritised is evidenced by our mortuaries facing increasing pressure in the amount of murdered persons, as by law, all cases of unnatural causes of death require an autopsy. Currently, there is a R287.3 million mortuary being built in Observatory, which is double the size of the Salt River observatory. However, if murder rates continue at this pace, the new mortuary will not be able to cope with the influx of dead bodies.”
“I therefore urge Minister Cele to address the following in his budget vote speech:
- Deploying SANDF as a peacekeeping force within our communities so that the police are able to pursue arrests and investigations. SAPS officials too often attest to being overwhelmed and understaffed;
- Stabilising and normalising our communities most afflicted by gangs and crime;
- Establishing greater cohesion between SAPS and Metro Police officers to ensure convictions, and not just arrests. SAPS have previously been invited to take advantage of the Transport Management Centre’s Joint Operations Centre’s floor space in Goodwood, as well as the City of Cape Town’s ShotSpotter technologies, but have failed to do so;
- Filling of the 4500 vacant SAPS posts in the province;
- Establishing short, medium and long-term strategies to address the abysmal murder rate, spate of gang violence, drug related crime and high volumes of illegal firearms in the Western Cape; and
- Supporting the establishment of a provincial police service as has been enacted in most modern states around the world.”
Minister Fritz said, “We cannot treat the abysmal state of crime and murder in the Province as business-as-usual. We need solutions that will not only stabilise our communities, but also bring lasting peace to them. This further requires a transversal approach to addressing the poor socio-economic conditions which many of our residents continue to live in. It is for this reason that I am working closely with various other Departments at each level of government to drive initiatives which provide alternatives to a life of crime. Amongst these are the deployment of additional School Resource Officers, the Youth and Safety Religious Programme and the expansion of the Chrysalis Programme.”
Under the leadership of Minister Albert Fritz, the Department of Community Safety will continue to provide oversight in an effective and efficient way so as to hold SAPS to account.
Click here for English audio clip.