Western Cape Cabinet Launches Intergovernmental Dispute on Policing
The Western Cape Government Cabinet has given notice that it is declaring an intergovernmental dispute with the ANC-led national government about its failure to address the Province’s Policing Needs and Priorities (PnP).
Minister of Community Safety, Alan Winde, on behalf of the Provincial Government said: “In October last year we wrote an urgent letter to police Minister Bheki Cele outlining necessary measures to address crime in our province. We followed up in December.
We have yet to receive an adequate response, or an action plan, from the national police. We have lost complete confidence in- and patience with the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the entire national government. They have on multiple occasions ignored our requests for assistance and intervention, despite a Constitutional obligation to take our recommendations into account.
“They have also disregarded our offer of R5 million to reignite the SAPS reservist programme. And they have ignored our offer to make available Western Cape Government employees to serve as Commissioners of Oaths within police stations. These offers would ensure that police officers are relieved from this administrative duty and instead, patrol our streets where they are desperately needed.
In our formal correspondence to Minister Cele declaring the dispute, we state that his continued silence with respect to our letter of 10 October 2018, despite a subsequent follow up in December 2018 thus now leaves us with no option but to formally notify him that the Western Cape Government declares:
1. [His] failure and/or refusal to address, respond and/or consult with the Western Cape Government with respect to the content of our correspondence to [him] of 10 October 2018 (containing, as it does, our determination of the immediate policing needs and priorities of the Western Cape Province), delivered to [him] in terms of section 206 (1) of the Constitution as read with the Intergovernmental Framework Relations Act; and
2. [His] failure to address and/or respond to, or put in motion the mechanisms for the implementation of those policing needs and priorities, on an urgent basis, in [his] determination of the National Policing Policy for this province, under section 206 (1) and (2) of the Constitution; and
3. [His] failure to address or respond to, or put in motion the offers of co-operation and assistance made to [him] by the Western Cape Government so as to alleviate some of the capacity constraints SAPS are dealing with in the Western Cape currently, (as voiced by [his] national and provincial commissioners previously);
as formal intergovernmental disputes, in terms of section 41 (1) of the Intergovernmental Framework Act 13 of 2005.
The national government has consistently demonstrated their unwillingness to engage or co-operate with the Western Cape Provincial Executive and rather chose to politicise the safekeeping of our residents.
It is a fact that all national projects and programmes in the Province, particularly rail and the police service, are in a state of disarray. This is no fault of the dedicated men and women in blue, many of whom under trying circumstances are doing their best.
Resolution of our province’s policing needs is urgently needed. Our Provincial Department of Health’s mortuary statistics informs us that between 1 November 2018, the day before the anti-gang unit was launched, and 31 March 2019, 1567 people were killed in the Western Cape.
In March 2019, 341 people were murdered, compared to 343 in March 2018. Ten people are still being murdered per day across the Province. Of the top 10 murder stations in the country, 7 are in the Province. Nyanga remains the murder capital of the country, where between April 2013 and March 2018, 1473 people were murdered.
Police under-resourcing remains alarmingly high. The Province has 1 officer for every 509 residents, while Cape Town has it worse at 1:560. The national average is 1:375. This means the Province needs a further 4500 officers to be on par with the national average.
In December 2018, the Western Cape Equality Court found that National Government is discriminating against poor and Black Western Cape residents in how it allocates police resources. It also found that the system the national police use to allocate resources is unfairly discriminating against poor and Black people in the Western Cape.
The remedy has been postponed to a later date.
Minister Cele has previously claimed that their interventions are yielding success. Perhaps he is referring to his well-guarded office in Pretoria, which is far removed from the fear of being hit by a stray bullet, a scenario many of our people have to endure on a daily basis.
Our correspondence further states that in order to obtain urgent redress of these disputes, and in terms of section 42 of this Act, we are obligated to now promptly convene a meeting with Minister Cele or his representative in order to; inter alia:
- Determine the precise nature of the disputes; and identify mechanisms, other than a court of law that may assist in the resolution; and
- Agree on such mechanism and its implementation; and
- Designate a facilitator to perform the role set out in section 43 of the said Act in the said implementation.
To ensure compliance with section 42 of the Act in a co-operative manner, Cele has been requested to provide my office with a suitable date for such meeting to be convened, within the next 30 days.
We remain committed to doing everything in our constitutional mandate to reduce crime in our province, as our aim is to achieve a #SaferWesternCape