by Andrew Louw – DA Premier Candidate
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Date: 05 April 2019
The Democratic Alliance in the Northern Cape today protested against high levels of crime in the Northern Cape and announced our plan to improve policing in the province.
This comes a day before the funeral of 16-year of Kimberley Boys High learner, Tshepiso Louw, who was brutally killed for his clothes and shoes. It also comes just a month after the murder of Grade 12 learner, Boniface Ndlovu, who was also fatally stabbed for his matric dance shoes.
Both young men had so much potential. Their families had so much hope for them. How unfair that their lives had to be so unnecessarily cut short because of violent crime.
Kimberly and the Northern Cape is no longer the quiet, peaceful place that it once was.
The Stats SA’s Victims of Crime Survey, released late last year, indicates that people in the Northern Cape are more likely to become victims of robberies and housebreakings than people living in any other province in South Africa.
The fear that we feel when we go to bed at night, is therefore terrifyingly real.
To make matters worse, it is the perception of more than 50% of the people living in the Northern Cape that the police will either only respond to an emergency call after two hours, or never at all.
The bottom line is that there are still too many police stations in the province without the adequately trained personnel, without victim friendly rooms, without police vehicles, without security measures, without safes for firearms, without telephones lines and other basic equipment to respond to emergencies and to combat everyday crimes.
In effect, law abiding citizens of this province have become sitting ducks for criminals.
That’s why the DA says it’s time to reclaim our safety and security.
The DA has a plan to overhaul the South African Police Service to become effective in fighting crime and should I become Premier of the Northern Cape, I will table a community safety bill in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature upon taking office.
The bill will maximise the province’s constitutional oversight powers in respect of policing through:
Bolstering the functions of the MEC of Safety to better monitor and oversee the effectiveness of the police service;
Strengthening the monitoring, oversight and assessment of policing;
Issuing directives for the establishment of Community Police Forums and Boards;
Accrediting and offering support, including funding, training or resources, to Neighbourhood Watches;
Establishing an integrated information system between the Province and Police;
Establishing the Office of Provincial Police Ombudsman to investigate inefficiency of the police;
Enforcing the reporting by Provincial Commissioner to the MEC and the legislature to ensure accountability;
Providing for a mechanism for the loss of confidence in the Provincial Commissioner;
Enforcing the reporting by Executive Head of Municipal Police service to the MEC and the legislature; and
Imposing sanctions, including fines and prison sentences, if provisions in the act are not complied with.
Where we govern in the Western Cape, we have already passed a Community Safety Act in 2013 and it is showing results. This is the DA’s advantage. We can copy and paste best practice from one province to another. So, the bill is here, it’s ready to be tabled, I just need to be sworn in as the head of provincial government to ensure that it can take effect.
This is one of many things that we will do to improve policing and combat crime.
We will also increase the allocation of resources for the appointment and support of municipal safety officers.
In the Western Cape, the DA government increased resources of the metro police and our efforts to fight gangs and drugs have carried significant results. When the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality was still under DA-governance, the party wasted no time in launching its first metro police department, with 114 new, fully-trained officers keeping the streets safer for all. And, in the city of Joburg, Mayor Herman Mashaba went out and recruited an additional 1 500 officers to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department.
The DA does not just moan about crime, we act against crime.
Only change under a DA-led government will ensure that law and order is maintained in our communities, and that the Northern Cape becomes a safer place for all.