Gauteng residents continue to fear for their lives and belongings as Gauteng police stations dominate the top 30 nationally in attempted murder, sexual offences, rape, common assault, and robbery. This is despite the Gauteng Premier spending millions of rands on crime prevention wardens meant to fight crime and ensure the safety of residents.
Robbery at the residential premises has increased by 248 from 1810 in the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year to 2058 in the first quarter of the 2023/ 24 financial year. Robbery at non-residential premises has also increased by 28 from 1588 in the first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year to 1616 in the first quarter under review. Kidnapping has also increased by 159 from 1909 in the previous first quarter of the 2022/23 financial year to 2068 in the first quarter under review.
The crime statistics for the first quarter of the 2023/24 financial year indicate that Lesufi’s crime prevention wardens are an electioneering ploy and not a serious attempt to curb crime despite millions spent on it.
Furthermore, the Gauteng crime prevention wardens did not meet their target of 23 826 crime prevention operations, as only 5066 operations were conducted. The department claims that challenges with resources and tools of the trade resulted in wardens not meeting their crime prevention operation targets. This information was revealed in the Gauteng Department of Community Safety’s First Quarter Report for the 2023/24 financial year.
This indicates a lack of planning from the Premier and the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety on this programme as they fail to meet set targets, and the crime prevention wardens are ill-equipped.
The DA has been demanding budget details and expected outcomes from this programme. To date, nothing has been communicated. This is worrisome, as crime is increasing in the province, yet the crime prevention wardens are failing to meet targets. This raises questions about the role of crime prevention wardens in assisting the police in fighting crime.
The DA will table questions to MEC Mazibuko in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain what happened to monies allocated to resource the crime prevention wardens to fight crime. We also want to know what measures will be taken to address these challenges and ensure they achieve their set targets.