Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has dismissed claims by Police Minister Bheki Cele that the province has the most policing resources.
Winde says the minister’s comments on Friday about the Western Cape receiving the “lion’s share” of policing resources and funding were “an insult to our poorest communities”.
In a statement, Winde said any person who lives in the Western Cape’s crime hotspots knows all too well that there is not enough police support to fight crime, despite the hard work of many officers on the ground.
“It is our poorest communities, mostly in the Cape Flats, which are left with inadequate police to population ratios because of a failure by the national government to properly resource them,” the premier said on Saturday.
Winde said the lack of police resources was not news to Cele and his remarks at a police imbizo in Mitchells Plain about the Western Cape’s policing resources were misleading to the public.
He said the DA-led provincial government had complained for years to Cele and his department about the police resources through the province’s policing needs and priorities report, but this was still yet to be addressed adequately.
Cele must ‘correct his statement’
He called on the minister to do the right thing and correct his statement made on Friday.
“He should use this correction to instead commit to providing more policing resources to the South African Police Service (Saps) in the Western Cape, especially to the crime hotspots in our poorest communities.”
Winde said Cele’s comments clearly demonstrated the importance of devolving policing powers closer to the people, so that their needs are listened to and addressed by a “capable provincial government”.
“Saps officers are not being deployed on an equitable basis throughout the province. If you use a 1 to 225 police to population ratio to determine appropriate resourcing as a goal, our poorest communities are grossly under-supported by the South African Police Service.”