Yesterday, 22 March, the Portfolio Committee on Police received a presentation from the South African Police Service (SAPS) on their National Rural Safety Strategy (NRSS).
As rural crime continues to spiral out of control only 808 stations out of 1155 have totally implemented the strategy while 63 stations have only partially implemented the strategy four years after it was launched.
After the DA launched our own Rural Safety Plan on the 1st of October 2019 SAPS announced their Reviewed National Rural Safety Strategy (“NRSS”) on October 11, 2019. The implementation of the reviewed strategy only started on 01 April 2020 and will run to the end of March 2025.
While SAPS is dragging its feet on the implementation of the strategy we have seen a spate of farm murders, farm robberies, mass killings in rural villages and stock theft which have been allowed to run rampant in rural areas.
This is highlighted in the 2021/22 crime statistics, where 25 001 cases of stock theft were reported (68 cases every day). I’m just the first three quarters of 2022/23, 21 244 stock theft cases have already been reported (77.8 cases per day).
In the Northern Cape, more than half of SAPS stations 50% have not yet implemented the NRSS. In KwaZulu-Natal, 23% of SAPS stations have not yet implemented the NRSS. Out of the top 30 police stations of reported stock theft, 13 of these are in KZN. The Eastern Cape comes in second with 9 stations.
More proof of a lack of implementation of the NRSS around the country is that only 34% of all stock thefts have led to an arrest, with the conviction rate likely to be even lower.
I will now launch a campaign to conduct a series of oversight visits to assess the implementation of the SAPS rural safety strategy at rural police stations across the country. I will be meeting with SAPS members and community safety structures to listen to their experiences and to develop solutions together with them.
Following this campaign the DA will review our 2019 Rural Safety Plan, update it and relaunch it based on the inputs of SAPS members and community members across the country.