DA leader Helen Zille will be touring the country along with local and provincial DA public representatives to listen to the concerns of South Africans, to discuss their problems and how a DA government would be able to work towards finding solutions to those problems.
Political in-fighting is destroying Nelson Mandela Metro
[Today Helen Zille visited the Northern Areas of Port Elizabeth to express solidarity with victims of crime and to communicate the message that, with hard work and efficient policing, crime can be beaten. ]
On my visit to Port Elizabeth today I have seen first-hand how ANC factionalism destroys the state’s ability to deliver.
I have visited Port Elizabeth’s formerly prestigious Heritage Trail, where historic buildings and prime sea front property have fallen into disrepair and ruin at the hands of a Council which doesn’t seem to care.
Here I presented the Draft ‘Problem Buildings By-law’, which is being introduced in the City of Cape Town to deal with slum-lords as well as drive inner-city regeneration. Our councillors here will agitate for a similar by-law in PE.
I have also visited the crime scene in Bethelsdorp where14 year old Mirinda Wessels was brutally gang-raped, murdered and set alight last month.
I have visited Die Gaat, an area where people live in fear of the Mafia and Mongrel gangs.
I have visited Rufane Donkin Primary School which has been vandalised and its learners victimized by gangsters.
Crime affects us all, and it is a problem in every city. But here in Port Elizabeth, the ANC is so riddled with political divisions that the council is not taking any decisive action. As ANC councillors fight each other for positions, the people of Port Elizabeth are fighting a losing battle against criminals.
When the Council should have been putting everything it could into establishing a well-trained and dedicated Metro Police, the project has been delayed and deferred because of the ANC’s internal battles. As a result, this is now the only Metro in South Africa without a Metro Police force.
As the Premier of the Western Cape and former Mayor of Cape Town, I know how difficult it is to beat crime. But I also know that, unless government puts crime at the top of its agenda, there is no chance of winning the battle. I know that, without a dedicated, fighting-fit police force, innocent people have no chance against armed gangsters.
In Cape Town, we have worked hard to get the Metro Police into shape. Our efforts are starting to pay off.
In Mitchells Plain, after two police officers were killed within a few weeks of each other, we initiated Operation Choke. This involves saturating an area with a high volume of police for several weeks to disrupt the business activities of druglords and gangsters. These operations resulted in 1289 fines, 66 arrests, and the raiding of 49 properties. These successes have been replicated in Atlantis and Athlone. Through an active partnership with residents and the City, violent crime in the city centre has been reduced by up to 90%.
We’ve also set-up ‘Operation Razor’, the same kind of programme, in Atlantis.
There is no magic formula to beat crime. It requires political will, an unwavering focus and the necessary resources. None of these things can happen when politicians are more focused on fighting each other than on fighting criminals.