Internal Affairs

MEC Albert Fritz responds to Minister Bheki Cele’s remarks at Crime Prevention Imbizo in Mitchells Plain

Minister Fritz responds to Minister Cele’s remarks at Crime Prevention Imbizo in Mitchells Plain

I note the comments made by Minister Bheki Cele in his address at the SAPS Crime Prevention Imbizo held today in Mitchells Plain. Similar “imbizos” were also held in Nyanga and Gugulethu over the past few weeks.

The Western Cape Department of Community Safety should have been an integral part of these engagements and involved from the outset if this was a genuine effort to forge partnerships to fight crime. This is especially disappointing because the Western Cape has an excellent working relationship with the Provincial Police Commissioner and the SAPS in the province, which is important for our fight against crime in the province.

The reality is that the National Department of Police, under the leadership of Minister Cele, is not doing enough in our communities. Police service men and women on the ground work extremely hard in this province, but the province is under-resourced with not enough SAPS officers on the ground. This failure to commit resources, especially to poor areas, is hampering the fight against crime.

This, however, is not news to the National Minister or his government. We have submitted Policing Needs and Priorities reports to him annually which set out the dire under-resourcing of the Cape Flats in particular. There has been little to no action on it.

In terms of our Provincial Safety Plan, we have already deployed over 1000 LEAP officers to assist these crime hotspots. We are also establishing Area-Based Teams in each of these areas to coordinate the responses of the different stakeholders to societal challenges around crime and violence.

Its now time for the National Government to step up and play their part by providing more resources to the provincial SAPS, so they can do more. The people of the Western Cape deserve nothing less.

Source: Government of South Africa