Cosatu's protest against high crime rates in Cape Town is misguided
Media release: Cosatu’s protest against high crime rates in Cape Town is misguided.
“It is safe to say all law-abiding Western Cape residents, including the government, are fed up with high crime rates and are tired of living in fear,” said Premier Alan Winde ahead of a planned protest on the issue, being led by trade union federation Cosatu.
“But staging a protest and strike to draw attention to this issue is not the way to go,” lamented the Premier. He added: “This demonstration comes at a time when we need to buckle down to jumpstart the economy and create jobs after the Covid-19 State of Disaster. This action, however, is counter-productive as it will likely prevent hard-working citizens from getting to work on the day and will most certainly scupper the earnings of those taking part.”
Cosatu has called on both National Government and Western Cape Government (WCG) to decisively address issues like gang violence and gender-based violence. “I would like to tell the federation that the WCG is taking money from its own budget to do exactly this in various ways,” the Premier pointed out. He elaborated: “Our Safety Plan is based on a scientific approach to addressing crime, while our Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) is a “force multiplier” on the ground, helping other law enforcement agencies – especially the South African Police Service, which has all the government money to fight crime, to keep our communities safe.”
Premier Winde instead invites Cosatu to meet with him to discuss a collective approach to taking the grievances of the labour federation, as well as the millions of Western Cape citizens, to the doorstep of the National Government, specifically the President and Police Ministry, which sits in Pretoria, not the Western Cape.
Premier Winde proposed: “We should rather seek to engage the President and Police Minister Bheki Cele together, to constructively raise our concerns and put solutions on the table.
“The WCG is going all-out to push for the devolution of the police service,” stressed the Premier, adding, “we have the political will and constitutional basis on our side to do this. I am sure Cosatu shares our goal of seeking real solutions to crime and should then join us in this call.”
Western Cape Police Oversight and Community Safety Minister, Reagen Allen, has over the past several weeks been visiting as many police stations in the province as possible to see for himself if they are adequately resourced to fight crime.
The Premier added: “Violent crime has for too long plagued our communities and by decentralising policing, the WCG and its law enforcement partners will plough new expertise and energy into tackling high crime rates at a more local level, to improve safety for residents.”