Gauteng residents live in fear due to a lack of police visibility

Madame Speaker,

Two weeks ago, the body of a dead man was found at an open field in Ga-Rankuwa Zone 1. Domestic workers were held up at gunpoint and robbed in Centurion. A young woman was kidnapped and murdered in Ekurhuleni. The list is endless, and our people are victims of crime daily, pointing towards of a lack of police visibility as one of the reasons. What happened to the new vehicles that were purchased to assist with visible policing?

The residents of Gauteng are fearing for their lives due to too little to no police visibility in their communities. Community members are mugged, murdered, and raped daily. These crimes could have been prevented if the police were indeed visible. Our people have now lost hope in police to ensure their safety and security due to the increasing rate of crime and a lack of police visibility.

There is a large number of police vehicles that are currently standing at the workshops waiting for repairs. Why are we not fixing these vehicles first before we even consider purchasing additional vehicles? 

Ga-Rankuwa Police Station has more than 21 vehicles that are not in use, and they are limited to sometimes only two vehicles per shift to not only attend to visible policing, but also monitoring of the local court, hospitals, and other important institutions that requires policing.

The sad part is that this not only the case in Garankuwa, but all across the province, where vehicles are not maintained or repaired regularly. Surely the purchasing of 55 vehicles for visible policing, although it is welcomed, could have provided for the repairs of hundreds of broken vehicles across the province?

The DA has already called on the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to ensure police visibility in all our communities to ensure the safety and security of our residents. We also proposed that the department should consider fixing the broken vehicles before purchasing the new ones, however, our suggestions have fallen onto deaf ears.

We can change this ongoing continuous challenge by voting the DA in power. The DA has already established a policy on safety, crime, and justice. The DA will ensure that the police service is properly equipped, well trained, and able to both recognize and respond rapidly and effectively to any threat to our people.

Even though the department speaks about prioritizing visible policing, this is not the reality on the ground or in practice. Instead of communities feeling safe, criminals are feeling safe to continue with their criminal acts.  It is for these reasons the DA will not be supporting this budget.