Statement by Minister Dan Plato - Western Cape Government stand united
Statement by Dan Plato, Western Cape Minister of Community Safety
Western Cape Government stand united with farming communities
Date: 29 October 2017
[Note to editors: The following statement was made by Minister Dan Plato during a joint press briefing with the South African Police Service Provincial Management and AfriForum regarding farming and rural safety]
I condemn in the strongest possible manner the recent attacks and murder which has occurred on farms in the Western Cape.
The Western Cape Government views every murder in a serious light. Let me be clear: no murder or violent attack in any community can be tolerated.
The recent annual crime statistics revealed that we all have to do more, play our part better, if we are to confront crime in our province. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.
The fact is that violent crime is highest in areas where the police are most under-resourced. National government has operational control over SAPS and we will continue to advocate for the necessary changes to see that our communities worst affected by the scourge of guns, alcohol, drugs and gangs, receive the policing service delivery everyone in South Africa deserves.
We remain steadfast in our calls to:
- Increase police resources in the province to ensure all stations are sufficiently staffed, equipped and in service of their community.
- Reintroduce and capacitate the specialised units promised by President Zuma (in February 2016) to target the problems of gangs, guns and drugs.
- The adequate use of police reservists in the province as a force multiplier.
- The deployment of the South African National Defence Force, to conduct peacekeeping work, enabling SAPS to do their investigations, prevent crime, make arrests and get convictions
The impact of violent crimes, however, is not only confined to certain communities, known gang hotspots or where the drug trade is rife.
As we have seen recently again in Klapmuts, fire-arms in the hands of those with criminal and evil intent rips loved ones from our lives, scars families and threatens entire communities’ way of life.
The Western Cape is experiencing a 10 year high in the number of murders committed. The crime statistics show that, on average, every day the police records 9 counts of murder, 9 counts of attempted murder, 66 counts of assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, 109 counts of assault and 65 counts of robbery with aggravated circumstances.
The violence in our communities across the province cannot continue unabated.
We need to take a critical look at crime prevention initiatives and interventions instituted by the police, where they are falling short and how best we, society-as-a-whole, can help address these shortages.
As a government, we remain determined, through our whole of society approach, to see improved strategic partnerships and targeted interventions bringing about safer environments. Ultimately the public need to experience this difference in their daily lives.
That is why my Department has an open door policy to see how we can partner with any person, or organisation, such as AfriForum, who wants to help create the safer environments we all want to live in.
I urge communities, including our farming communities, to remain vigilant in their approach to safety – keeping their families, those residing on their property, their workers and their property as safe as possible.
I thank all those farming communities – farm owners, employers and employees, who are taking hands with the police, safety structures, such as neighbourhood watches and farm watches, who are all forming part of the much needed united front against crime. I urge those that feel isolated to reach out.
It is important to remember that you have a capable partner in the Western Cape Government.
As part of my oversight mandate over policing in the province, I will be raising these matters with the National Minister of Police at our next MinMEC engagement in early November. I thank Provincial Police Commissioner Lt Gen Jula for his commitment to the people of this province and his presence here today, in support of addressing murders in our communities.
I look forward to forging the necessary relationships between all role-players present today where threats to safety remains are shared concern and improving safety our only objective.
Ewald Botha, Spokesperson for Minister Plato
Cell: 079 694 1113