Minister Allen inspects police stations in Kannaland and Oudtshoorn
Between 21 and 23 July 2022, Western Cape Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Reagen Allen conducted in depth safety visits in the Kannaland and Oudtshoorn Municipal areas.
These included oversight inspections at the Calitzdorp and Ladismith SAPS stations in Kannaland, and at the De Rust, Dysselsdorp, Bongolethu, Bridgton and Oudtshoorn SAPS stations in Oudtshoorn. Minister Allen also patrolled with the Calitzdorp neighbourhood watch (NHW).
To date, Minister Reagen Allen has visited 21 SAPS stations across the province.
Minister Reagen Allen said: “I’m grateful to all stakeholders who took the time to engage me over the last few days. I am deeply concerned about the state of neighbourhood watches and membership in both municipal areas. It is either there are no structures, or they’ve been depleted. I have already requested departmental officials to intervene in these areas, as we cannot allow these brave volunteers to not be assisted. They serve a critical role in being the extra eyes and ears and in assisting SAPS in keeping communities safe.”
Minister Reagen Allen added: “I was once again alarmed but sadly not surprised by the state of the police stations in these areas. All the stations I visited highlighted that they were under-resourced in terms of officers and other resources, which we know is a problem faced across the Western Cape, and which we have asked the national Minister Bheki Cele to address many times. I’m particularly concerned at the level of service that certain stations are providing to community members. I experienced a very cold welcome at one particular station and upon engaging stakeholders the same sentiment about the station was shared, which gives me great cause for concern. These are the very places that are supposed to be helping residents who’ve suffered harm, and these residents should be treated with the utmost care and consideration.”
“One station in Oudtshoorn has a building that is literally sinking into the ground, and it has not been attended to since 2017. I am grateful that we’ve not heard of any injuries or accidents at the site, but if matters are not urgently addressed, we could be facing such incidents. I’ll be writing to the national Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, Patricia de Lille about this matter, so that it can be attended to, but quite frankly, this once again demonstrates the lack of police management by the far-flung Pretoria head office. All these matters, including this sinking building, will also be brought to the attention of the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile, so that they can urgently be addressed,” continued Minister Reagen Allen.
“I’ll be returning to the area in due course to check up on progress in the above matters. We’ve been informed how criminals from the Metro are seeking to infiltrate these smaller towns, which we cannot allow – these towns must have the resources and police services to keep their towns safe. I’d like to commend volunteers in various communities across these areas for standing up to these criminal elements. Along with SAPS, they are ensuring that criminals are unable to anchor themselves in these communities. Together and as a united front, we will be able to overcome crime in our areas,” concluded Minister Reagen Allen.