Police Minister Bheki Cele says it’s a lie that police are not doing their jobs to address crime in the Western Cape.
Cele hosted an imbizo at the JP Rocklands Sports Ground in Mitchells Plain on Friday morning.
The Minister told residents that the province has shown a number of times an unwillingness to work with national government to address safety concerns facing communities.
He said he has requested meetings with the provincial government in the past but they have not responded.
The Minister conceded that more still and must be done to squeeze out criminality in Mitchells Plain, but emphasised that the Western Cape enjoys the lion’s share of policing resources aimed at addressing crime concerns raised by communities.
“Out of all the provinces, the province of the Western Cape is the most resourced over and above the allocated provincial budget. We have through our analysis of crime trends took decisions to set-up special operations such as the Anti-Gang Unit(AGU), there has also been the introduction of Special operations like Operation Thunder and Operation Lockdown and a task teams investigating extortion and taxi violence. Many of these interventions are unique to this province and are producing results, communities can agree that life may not be perfect but it’s certainly improving since they were established,” he said.
He criticised the Western Cape government over comments made by the provincial government that police have not done their jobs.
“To say government is not taking care of the Western Cape is lies and its disingenuous. We have put every every effort into the Western Cape so when they say we don’t do enough for this province, hulle lieg [they lie].”
“We are obligated to work together. We are constitutionally bound to work together. I want to make a call to them to drop this thing of politicising crime, drop it and let’s work together,” he said.
The provincial government’s standing committee chairperson for community safety Reagen Allen who attended the imbizo said the MEC for community safety Albert Fritz was not invited to the event.
“I find it deeply concerning that the minister continues to play politics despite preaching we should work together. It’s been established that SAPS are under-resourced and the number of SAPS members have dropped consistently,” he said.
Community Safety Minister Albert Fritz says appalling under-resourcing is hampering crime-fighting efforts.
#PoliceMinistry The Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces have recorded some of the highest crime figures and continue to receive the most policing resources and funding to bring about peace and stability in the provinces. MLhttps://t.co/hjw2qWmf1A pic.twitter.com/RBV9LRBoN6
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) October 8, 2021