Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety | Western Cape Government


Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

3 July 2018

Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety


ANC Western Cape still trying to fool the public on crime


Date: 3 July 2018

Release: Immediate


The ANC in the Western Cape sent a clear signal to the public today that their election campaign will be based on trying to fool as many people as possible on where the operational control over policing lies.


Their press conference today was the first political stunt.


The fact is the Constitution places operational control over policing with the ANC-run national government. So whenever the ANC points a finger on the serious issue of crime and safety, there are 4 fingers pointing back at them. The provincial government has no operational control over the police and the ANC nationally is shifting their failures to provide safety onto the provincial government.


And the fact remains that the Western Cape police continue to be chronically under-resourced.


Last year it emerged that 85% of police stations in the province are under-resourced, according to a Provincial Parliament Standing Committee report on Police Under Resourcing.


In this context it is hard to fathom how former Police Minister Mbalula was planning to cut the police force by 3000 officers, yet the most affected areas remain under resourced.


I have been calling for the reinstatement of specialised units for more than five years. What we want to know from the ANC in national government is where are the specialised gang, gun and drug units promised by Jacob Zuma, more than two years ago?


Instead, the ANC’s police ministers have let go of thousands of police reservists and effectively rendered the police service in the Western Cape incapable of dealing with criminal elements.


I continuously raise the issue of well-resourced and trained police officers with the Provincial Commissioner. My office receives complaints on a daily basis about policing inefficiency and the breakdown in the relationship between communities and the police.


I will continue, through our oversight mandate, to push for the necessary changes to policing service delivery for our residents.


We are the only province to have introduced legislation that pushes the boundaries our constitutional oversight mandate.


The Community Safety Act has brought into existence a provincial Police Ombudsman, and introduced formalised support to Community Policing Forums and a system of support and accreditation for Neighbourhood Watches.


I happen to be accrediting 14 Neighbourhood Watches in Stellenbosch today under the system.


My Department continuously aims to serve the safety related needs of the province through innovative programmes such as the Watching Briefs unit – which monitors police and prosecuting inefficiency across the province’s busiest criminal courts.


We have also introduced safety partnerships that are unique to this province, and are making a big impact on the ground.


The Walking Bus programme supports scholar safety to and from schools. In under 2 years, this initiative has spread to 220 schools in more than 75 areas.


Our Youth Safety and Religion Partnership (YSRP) currently provides for 145 school holiday programmes to be run through 95 religious institutions in 35 communities.


We are also the only province to use our constitutional power to call a commission of enquiry into policing inefficiency, which Premier Zille did in the face of much resistance from national government.


Safety is everyone’s responsibility and the Western Cape Government remains a willing partner to anyone who wishes to improve safety in their community.


We will not however accept the continued hypocrisy and falsehoods spread by the ANC in the hopes of some electoral gains.




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