Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato has blamed President Jacob Zuma for the lack of improved policing in the province.
“President Jacob Zuma’s inaction on properly resourcing the SAPS in the Western Cape is allowing gangsterism, drugs, guns and their impact on communities, to continue unabated in the province,” Plato said in a statement on Wednesday.
Plato said Zuma was only repeating a promise he had made before.
“If crime in our communities was an apex priority for the President, surely the reintroduction of specialised units to tackle drugs and guns… would have been established,” Plato said.
Zuma made an impromptu visit to Nyanga police station on Tuesday.
Nyanga was on the list of the worst ten precincts for crime in the Western Cape for 2016, with 10 785 crimes reportedly committed there last year.
“While I am glad President Zuma took the time to visit Nyanga, I am even more encouraged by the concerns voiced to him by the local members of the South African Police Service,” Plato said.
“To label the Western Cape, Cape Town or Nyanga as the crime capital of the country cannot exonerate the president, or his minister of police, for continuously failing the people of the province.”
“He is blaming the many overworked police officers who are struggling to fight crime without enough boots on the ground, or specialised capacity.”
According to Plato, Zuma has actively tried to stop adequate safety service delivery in the Western Cape.
“[Zuma fought] the provincial government all the way to the Constitutional Court in our attempt to address policing inefficiencies in Khayelitsha.
“[He delayed] the implementation of specialised units since the commitment made by Police Minister Nhleko since May 2015,” Plato said.
The Western Cape is the only province to legislate their police oversight mandate through the Community Safety Act.
Plato said the province’s Court Watching Briefs unit had identified more than 600 cases last year where police inefficiency resulted in cases being struck off the court role.