WesBank contract model causing undue delays in Gauteng SAPS vehicle repairs

The delivery of police services has been severely affected due to a lack of adequate police vehicles to provide necessary visible policing due to the contract entered by the National Treasury and WesBank, which has resulted in a complicated vehicle repairs model.

The National Treasury entered a contract with Wesbank on behalf of the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the maintenance and repairs of most SAPS vehicles. Wesbank took the responsibility of vehicle maintenance and repairs away from the SAPS garages.

This has created backlogs for simple repairs of up to 500 days in some cases. This not only puts the safety of the residents at risk but adds to the frustration and staff morale of the police officers to conduct visible policing and detective services.

According to some police stations, the WesBank contract allows for 30 days to access a breakdown and three months to appoint a service provider to fix the vehicle that must then still be assessed afterwards. This means that the police vehicles will be out of commission for months on end, and in some cases, tyres and wheels are stolen from parked vehicles even before work can be done on police vehicles.

In addition, 24 mechanic artisan posts have been vacant at the SAPS garages since 2016 that could have been used to repair the broken police vehicles.

This was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, in a written reply to the DA’s questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).

According to MEC Mazibuko, there are 16 SAPS garages in Gauteng, 205 mechanics in all the garages and 24 mechanic artisan posts that have been vacant since 2016.

It is unacceptable that the vacant mechanic posts have not been filled for almost six years. This has also resulted in police vehicles that are sent for repairs being kept at these garages for a long time due to a lack of an adequate number of mechanics to fix them. There is also too much workload for these mechanics due to unfilled vacancies.

This is greatly impacting the ability of police officers to provide visible policing to protect residents and prevent crime as vehicles sent for repairs are not returned to their respective police stations timeously.

This is quite harrowing considering that many mechanic graduates are sitting at home unemployed, yet the SAPS is sitting with 24 vacancies that can help change and better the lives of our people.

We believe the Department of Community Safety must review its contract with WesBank as it may be the main reason for the backlog in vehicle maintenance and repairs.

The safety of Gauteng residents is of utmost importance for the DA hence we demand that MEC Mazibuko and the Gauteng SAPS Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, must liaise with their national counterpart Minister of Police, Bheki Cele to ensure that these mechanic posts are filled as a matter of urgency. Shortage of police vehicles is a major challenge affecting many of our police stations.

This is one of many reasons why Minister Bheki Cele must go, he continues to fail our people due to his incompetency. The DA will continue to use all the mechanisms at our disposal in all spheres of government to force the President to fire Minister Cele as he is compromising the safety of our people and a danger to society.


More needs to be done to recover millions spent on Gauteng blue light SAPS tender

Gauteng police stations are battling to deliver police services to their communities due to a lack of much-needed resources because of mismanagement of state funds and corruption.

The R191 million tender that was irregularly awarded by the SAPS to a service provider to supply and fit blue lights and sirens for Gauteng police vehicles came as a financial setback for the provincial police service.

The DA welcomes the work done so far by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to expropriate assets worth R75 million at the homes of the former Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane and six other senior police officials implicated in this corruption.

However, this has taken too long because it has been seven years since these officials have been allegedly implicated in this controversial multi-million rand “blue light” scandal.

Police stations across Gauteng are barely functional due to a severe lack of resources and personnel.

The DA has witnessed the injustice done by the Department of Community Safety to our police services through our 100-day #GautengPoliceWatch tour to give sufficient support to our stations.

Most police stations do not have enough vehicles to do visible policing which impacts negatively on the work of police officers.

The DA commends this significant breakthrough and believes that if there is more corruption within Gauteng SAPS, it should be exposed without any delays.








151 vacancies, lack of vehicles slowing down the fight against crime in Honeydew, Cosmo

The shortage of patrol vehicles and a shortage of 151 staffers has highly impacted on services at Honeydew and Cosmo police stations.

Honeydew station will soon become two stations, but Cosmo is still working as a satellite station from a premise at Honeydew SAPS. Combined, these stations have 548 staff positions but there are only 397 members of staff effectively allocated to the two police stations, leaving the station with 151 vacancies.

During an oversight inspection as part of the DA’s 100-day #GautengPoliceWatch campaign, we discovered that the station only has 84 vehicles for visible policing, detective work, support services and crime prevention due to 23 cars being left in the provincial garage for repairs and 16 vehicles being boarded.

This means in terms of visible policing there are only 5 vehicles for 4 sectors to cover 108 km² when at least 3 vehicles per sector are required.

Crime in Cosmo and Zandspruit is very high and therefore they allocated 3, sometimes 4 patrol cars to work in Sector 4 Cosmo, leaving only 2 cars to patrol the other 3 sectors.

The severely under-resourced Honeydew SAPS is rated as the number 1 station affected by crime in the province merely because it is under-resourced and is carrying the workload of two stations.

The station is rated 12th for reported robberies, 18th for carjackings, 18th for contact crimes, and 2nd in the top 30 most affected stations nationally for community reported crimes.

Furthermore, while the two stations are in the process of being divided into two stations, Cosmo and Honeydew, telephone lines are dysfunctional, cells are not functional, and Cosmo still awaits a new generator before opening.

When arrests are made, suspects must be transferred to Randburg within an hour of the arrest being made.

Despite the station having had 1200 cases per month in 2018 and working in bad conditions, it has managed to reduce the crime rate to around 700 cases per month, but it remains in the top spot for serious crimes.

The DA will be writing to the MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to ascertain when the department will provide adequate support to Honeydew SAPS and when the filling of vacancies will be fast-tracked and Cosmo SAPS opened.

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

[Image source]

1877 SAPS Vehicles Currently Out of Action in Gauteng

Police Vehicles Not Operational

In response to DA questions regarding the number of police vehicles in Gauteng, Community Safety MEC, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, has indicated that of 10 676, at least 1887 are currently undergoing repairs.

This means that around 20% of police vehicles in Gauteng are not operational, with another 1560 scheduled for upcoming maintenance.

In addition to this, at least 6044 vehicles have been scrapped over the past six financial years.

Maintenance Issues

The DA’s questions were submitted in response to recent reports which highlighted the dire state of Public Order Policing vehicles at the SAPS depot in Diepkloof, Johannesburg.

The MEC further indicates that these vehicles are serviced by three main garages and 12 auxiliary garages.

During oversight visits to police stations in the province, many SAPS members have raised the issue of maintenance; indicating that minor repairs to their vehicles can take weeks in the government garages, forcing them to turn to private garages just to keep their vehicles on the road.

1877 vehicles out of action means 1877 less opportunities to respond to incidents of crime or public disturbances.

Spiralling Crime Rates

In a province with spiralling crime rates it means that hundreds of our residents may not receive the protection that they deserve from the police.

I will be requesting that the MEC reviews current maintenance policies, which may include major improvements to the current service garages or even building new ones.

We cannot be in a situation where so many vehicles are out of action at one time.

The fight against crime will not wait while these vehicles are repaired and the people of this province should feel secure in the knowledge that there are always adequate resources to respond immediately to their safety needs.


Media Enquiries:

John Moodey MPL
DA Leader in Gauteng and the Legislature
082 960 3743

[Image source]