More Must Be Done For Illegal Miners

Madam Speaker,

Illegal mining activity across Gauteng continues to increase. Recently, the bodies of 14 dead miners were found in Benoni – a shocking discovery to say the least.

It is my observation it has become glaringly obvious that our current Government does not seem to take the safety aspect of illegal mining seriously.

The people that suffer the most are the poorest of the poor who risk their lives in order to put a plate of food on the table for their families. These miners find themselves at the bottom of the supply chain, with criminal syndicates who run the illegal trade in gold and other precious metals benefiting the most.

It is sad when poor and vulnerable lives are reduced to nothing more than statistics.

Illegal mining invariably equates to the loss of lives. Poor health and safety, stolen equipment, exposure to lethal gases and rock falls are not the only life-threatening aspects to these miners.

Gang violence, robbery and prostitution have also claimed their victims, as this Government’s policies have systematically failed to deal with illegal mining activities. Most frightening is the involvement of well organised criminal syndicates. These gangs are heavily armed, well-resourced and are brazen in their actions.

Illegal mining also negatively impacts South Africa’s economy to the tune of R6 billion per annum.

If illegal mining is not dealt with soon it will result in MAJOR criminal activity and resultant gang wars will be almost impossible to prevent.

The safety of innocent community members living around these mines are compromised on a daily basis. Excuses from SAPS, who claim they are not able to deal with these criminal activities is simply not good enough.



Media Enquiries

Michele Clarke MPL
DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety
060 558 8309

Zama Zama Tragedy: Re-Establish Specialised Police Unit On Illegal Mining

Deceased Illegal Miners

The DA expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the 14 and counting deceased illegal miners.

It is indeed a tragic story of the forgotten, the marginalised and the excluded men and women who work the mines in the hope of a better tomorrow.

The brutal killing of the Zama-Zama’s on the mines in the province must be condemned.

The sluggish economic growth in the country can be seen as contributing to these deaths, illegal miners have no other opportunity to lift themselves out of poverty.

Restore Specialised Units Focusing on Illegal Mining

The DA’s motion last year to restore specialised units focusing on illegal mining in Gauteng was rejected by the ANC and so too was the debate in the National Council of Provinces shot down by the ANC.

Urgent intervention is needed before more lives are lost in gang rivalry on mines in the province. Communities are endangered through these battles and children are kept out of school and at home for their safety.

Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane must act now as she has a responsibility towards ensuring the safety of residents in Gauteng, especially in mining communities.

The DA once again calls for the reinstatement of a specialised unit on illegal mining within the SAPS.




Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299


Yaseen Carelse

Social development Cluster Manager

076 721 8613

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Gauteng Provincial Government Not Serious About The War On Drugs

Drug Crisis in Rosettenville

The sluggish response by Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, to attend to the drug crisis in Rosettenville, which this weekend saw the community go to war with itself, is indicative of a government that does not care about the plight of residents.

Today, the MEC will be accompanied by Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Deliwe De Lange and Minister for Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, to assess the damage caused by infuriated residents over the weekend. Property was destroyed during the vigilante action – with many residents having to hide in fear.

DA run City of Johannesburg

The DA run City of Johannesburg has tried to contact the MEC as well as the Minister for Home Affairs to run joint operations to assist residents who have fallen victim to the ever increasing drug problem in the area. These requests have fallen on deaf ears.

Gauteng Premier, David Makhura must also shoulder blame for his failure to act on the matter, as his office established a drug unit in 2016 – which could have gathered intelligence through the Ntirhisano outreach programme to handle this long standing issue.


It is clear that the scourge of drugs will not be rooted out of communities by this ANC administration, as it takes a reactive, rather than pro-active stance on dealing with major issues.

The DA will pose questions to the Premier to ascertain the success rate his drug unit has had since its inception, and how the Ntirihisano outreach programme will address the socio-economic challenges faced by communities plagued by substance abuse.



Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299

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SAPS Must Be Ready For Festive Season Crime

Gauteng Provincial SAPS Commissioner

Gauteng Provincial SAPS Commissioner, Lt Gen. Deliwe de Lange, must ensure that downtime on police vehicles is kept to a minimum during the festive season.

This follows reports in the media today that many of Gauteng’s SAPS vehicles are non-operational due to lengthy delays at under resourced repair centres.

Crime usually peaks during the festive period and downtime on vehicles should be minimised to ensure effective policing can take place.

SAPS Vehicles

It is unacceptable that SAPS vehicles are serviced and repaired for longer than average periods which places an enormous strain on operations.

Police Officers are left sharing vehicles and stations are under resourced.

The DA structures across the province will monitor police stations and assist the police, traffic police and community policing fora to combat crime during the festive season.

Residents are encourage to stay vigilant and report any crime or suspicious behaviour to their nearest SAPS station.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299

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DA Debates Gauteng Community Safety 2015/16 Annual Report

Speech by: Kate Lorimer MPL

“DA’s proposals on running the Community Safety department”

  • The DA would ensure that real-time crime statistics would be publicly available in every police station at all times.
  • There would be stronger enforcement of road traffic rules using techniques such as speed over distance, increased stop and search, more focus on moving violations and drunk driving.
  • We would professionalise the management of SAPS resourcing and logistics by creating a national register.
  • The detective service will be bolstered by employing at least another 8500 detectives.
  • International best practice shows that specialised policing units promote the retention of skills and the development of expertise which results in better conviction rates. At a minimum the DA will re-introduce fully capacitated FCS, narcotics, gang, rural safety, stock theft and anti-hi-jacking units.
  • The DA would use ongoing sting operations to root out bribery in the public sector together with ensuring that officials who are proven to be corrupt will never be able to work in the public sector again.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Speech by: Michele Clarke MPL

“Shifting the goal post will not achieve desired outcomes”

  • The only way we will be able to reduce crime is to address corruption, developing a highly skilled, well-resourced police force and re-introducing specialised units.
  • Structures such as youth desks, woman and men as safety promoters are non-existent and when they do exist it is merely a formality for the sake of compliance.
  • As long as the traffic policing is a non-essential service as determined in the Police Act we will never be able to reduce road fatalities.
  • The Department of Community Safety lacks real progressive management.

The full speech can be obtained here.


Media enquiries:

Kate Lorimer MPL

DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety

083 642 2727


Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299

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Safety At OR Tambo International Airport A Major Concern

OR Tambo International Airport

Safety at OR Tambo International Airport has been severely comprised in the last few weeks with reports of criminal activity on the increase.

Travellers who arrive late at the airport have complained to the DA that they felt unsafe walking to the parking garage and to catch a taxi-cab.

As a National Key Point I have been alarmed at the very little visible SAPS and Metro Police presence, this despite the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department having a satellite station based at the Airport.

I have been followed to my car on three occasions and in one instance I was accosted by a group of young men asking for money.

Hi-jacked and Attacked

Travellers are often followed from the airport and then hi-jacked and attacked upon arrival at their destination. Last Saturday an Uber-driver was hi-jacked and shot fatally at the Airport.

The safety of travellers who access the airport should be a priority 24/7.

I have discussed this matter with the Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, and will now request an urgent intervention in writing.

Gauteng is the number one business travel destination in the country, and with this reputation, safety at our main port of entry to the province must be prioritised.



Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety 

060 558 8299

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DA To Draft Private Member’s Bill To Combat Road Fatalities

Private Member’s Bill

The DA will draft a Private Member’s Bill in order to declare provincial traffic officers as an essential service.

Every year the Gauteng Traffic Department sets targets to reduce road fatalities by 10% per annum.

These targets are never achieved, while road traffic fatalities increase by more than 10% year on year.

According to road traffic statistics most fatal accidents occur over weekends from Friday at 18h00 to Monday mornings at 02h00.

Alcohol abuse, reckless and negligent driving, as well as motorists colliding with pedestrians not wearing visible clothing are the main contributory factors increasing road fatalities.

Public Service Act

Provincial traffic officers are employed in terms of the Public Service Act and work 40 hours a week from Monday to Friday from 06h00 to 22h00. Their profession has not been declared an essential service in terms of labour legislation.

Therefore, provincial traffic officers refuse to work in shifts to ensure a 24 hour presence every day and on weekends, which is now regarded as overtime, placing a major strain on the departmental budget.

It is imperative that the provincial traffic profession is declared an essential service.

Traffic law enforcement needs to take place 24 hours a day, otherwise road users will continue to break the law, severely compromising road safety.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety 

060 558 8299

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Intervention Needed At Etwatwa SAPS

Etwatwa SAPS

Urgent intervention is needed at the Etwatwa SAPS, following numerous complaints that have been received by the DA from disgruntled community members about the lacklustre operation of police officials.

Many have complained that they have not received adequate assistance and were treated with contempt.

There is a shortage of eight SAPS vehicles and this affects visible policing in the community.

The Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department are not working closely with the SAPS to prevent crimes.

Provincial Police Commissioner

Etwatwa was exposed to extreme violence last year during the OVL gang attacks and as a result, residents took the law into their own hands.

I will accordingly write to the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt General D.S de Lange, to request that he intervene at the local SAPS office and investigate the claims made by community members.

The SAPS must enforce the law and make sure that residents feel safe in their community.

Serious action needs to be taken.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety 

060 558 8299

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Ekurhuleni Police Chief: MEC Fails To Respond

Ekurhuleni Metro Police Chief

Gauteng Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, has failed to provide feedback regarding the investigation into the fitness to hold office of the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Chief, Bafana Mahlabane.

Last year, the DA called for the sacking of Mr Mahlabane, as his appointment was not made in accordance with the SAPS Act.  He was never a member of the metro police, his appointment was flawed and he lacks extensive policing experience.

Mr Mahlabane has also requested to make use of nine private security officers to serve at his pleasure.

The MEC’s self-imposed deadline of 30 January 2016 has passed, yet no feedback on the matter has been forthcoming.

Squandering Public Resources

It is critical that the MEC provides the report, as well as a clear commitment to take action against Mr. Mahlabane.

Further delays will only make it clear that the MEC is covering for Mr. Mahlabane, who has become a law unto himself.

By squandering public resources, Mr. Mahlabane has shown complete disregard for the influence his position holds and what his job entails.

I will write to MEC Nkosi-Malobane and request a copy of the report as well as what steps are to be taken against Mr. Mahlabane.

The DA will continue to ensure the executive is held to account and that the public purse is safeguarded from those who seek to abuse it for personal gain.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299

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Ekurhuleni Police Chief Abuses Private Security For Personal Gain

Bafana Mahlabe

The DA can confirm that newly appointed Ekurhuleni Metropolitan municipality Police Chief, Bafana Mahlabe, has approved overtime for nine security officials at an additional 84 hours per month to guard his private home.

Mr Mahlabe already has five guards patrolling his private residence, and the DA has in its possession a letter requesting an additional four.

Amongst their duties, the police chief has tasked the security officers to take his wife to the doctor and to run his children to school on a regular basis.

Insisting that security personnel take care of his domestic affairs is an abuse of public resources and the DA will insist that community safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, investigate his conduct as a matter of urgency.

Lack of Policing Experience

Of further concern are the reasons behind Mr Mahlabe’s need for excessive security: Is he under threat from the public or from political opponents?

It is exactly the risk of this type of behaviour which compelled the DA to question Mr Mahlabe’s fitness to hold office in the first place.

He was never a member of the metro police, his appointment was flawed and the DA believes his lack of policing experience will have a severe impact on the safety of residents.

Mr Mahlabe must be removed from office. Ekurhuleni must appoint a career metro police official who understands policing and fighting crime. If left unchecked, this situation is bound to turn into another Riya Phiyega saga.

The DA caucus in Ekurhuleni will continue to insist on his removal in council and provide all necessary support to the MEC during the investigation into his fitness to hold office.

The DA will continue to fight for Mr Mahlabe’s removal and the appointment of a suitably qualified metro police chief.


Media enquiries:

Michele Clarke MPL

DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Community Safety

060 558 8299

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