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Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

26 April 2017

Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

Muizenberg Police Station: Deputy Minister Mkongi must retract his lies; provide the Western Cape with a full breakdown of new police resources

Date: 26 April 2017

Release: Immediate

Politicising safety matters can never help our communities, and Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi  would do well to learn that quickly in his new position so that we can rather work together to make our communities safer.

While the Deputy Minister has already done a public u-turn and committed to delivering a new police station where it is more needed, this was already committed to in previous years. We have heard these promises of new police stations before and they seldom materialise.

In the Policing Needs and Priorities meeting held on 19 August 2016, the South African Police Service (SAPS) reported on the implementation of the 2015 Safety Plan, and highlighted both achievements and challenges. Among the challenges that they listed were: “The establishment of a new police station in Makhaza has been approved and is on the priority list for 2017/18.” So it would seem that Minister Mkongi is not yet up to date with this Department’s commitments and I would urge him to familiarise himself as soon as possible before making more false statements in the public domain.

I will be writing to the National Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, and the National Minister of Public Works, Nkosinathi Nhleko (former Police Minister), requesting a full list of all planned upgrades, new SAPS buildings and resource allocation for the next 5 years, with timeframes. The public have a right to know when and where they are getting much needed police resources.

A provincial government has no operational control over the South African Police Service and only an oversight role. As much as we would like to, we cannot direct the SAPS to allocate resources where they are most needed and can only inform them of where resources are most lacking, which we do through our annual Policing Needs and Priorities meetings held in each police cluster throughout the province. From these meetings it would have been made abundantly clear that areas like Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Gugulethu, and other high crime affected areas are most in need. I challenge Minister Mkongi to provide proof of where the DA ‘signed’ for the Muizenberg Police station as he has claimed.

With 161 murders in Khayelitsha for 2015/2016 (an increase from the previous year), versus 27 in Muizenberg (a decrease from the previous year) there is no question of where more attention is needed.

By making completely false allegations that the Democratic Alliance had any say in where a police station should be built is either an indication that Minister Mkongi  doesn’t yet understand his job and the role of the other safety stakeholders involved, or worse, he does know, but chooses to play politics with people’s lives.

I welcome his acknowledgement, after pressure from civil society groups that the SAPS made an error in their allocation of a new police station but I can never accept his lies in an attempt to shift the blame, which has become standard procedure for the ANC and ANC run National Government.

I hope that Minister Mkongi will acknowledge that his comments were unfounded, and that we can move forward and work together to make the people of this province safer, as the Western Cape has historically remained the most under-resourced province in terms of policing, and continues to be, and it is only by the National SAPS direction that this can be corrected.

 

 

Media Enquiries: 

Ishaam Davids, Deputy Director Strategic Services and Communications, Department of Community Safety,

Cell: 082 941 9434, alternatively email any enquiries to,

Email: Ishaam.Davids@westerncape.gov.za