Cape Town – Provincial MEC of Community Safety, Alan Winde, has said that instead of going on week long, expensive parades paid for by taxpayers, the army should be deployed across communities in the Province, where an urgent need to address high crime rates exists.
Winde said: “Instead of only showcasing what the armed forces is about and shooting off artillery as fanfare, which only further traumatizes our communities, the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) should serve as a peace-keeping force in gang- and crime ravaged areas. Throughout my engagements with communities, they all say they want one thing, the army.”
Since 2012, the Western Cape Government has made 12 separate formal demands for the temporary deployment of the SANDF as a visible peace-keeping force, to free up the police to do the necessary investigative work needed to ensure arrests.
In November 2018, the army could at a drop of a hat be deployed to the Vaal river in the ANC-led Emfuleni Municipality, even though the pollution and failing infrastructure are all due to mismanagement at Municipal level.
The Western Cape’s police-to-population ratio remains at an alarming 1 officer for every 509 residents. In Cape Town, it’s worse at 1:560. The national average is 1:375.
These numbers are abysmal, and every effort, which includes more resources, is needed to address the scourge of crime across the Province.
Winde said: “Although the President is empowered to deploy the army under Section 201 of the Constitution, and although former Police Minister Fikile Mbalula made a string of promises that the army will be deployed to gang areas in Cape Town before the festive season in 2017, this never happened.
"Are 10 murders a day, not enough reason for the army to be deployed? 7 of the top 10 murders stations are in our Province, along with Nyanga who continues to be the murder capital of South Africa, where between 2013 and 2018, 1473 people were murdered. These crimes are driven by gangs, and even the police have shown that they are too scared to take on the gang bosses," Winde said.
"As a last effort, I will once again be writing to the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, making the request for the army to be deployed.
"Although the Minister has not shown the appetite to assist us with the additional policing resources needed in the Western Cape, we want to give him a last opportunity to do the right thing and give us our fair and equitable share of resources.
Should the Minister fail to act on this last request, we will seek the option of declaring an intergovernmental dispute.”