Today, the DA met with station management and key role players at the Nyanga Police Station to gain a further understanding of how crime statistics have improved and what resources the South African Police Service (SAPS) needs to continue fighting crime and making the community safer.
Sadly, we have learned today that this police station is 22 officers short of their fixed establishment and that a new fixed establishment will be announced soon, but they do however anticipate a further decrease, which means a further decrease in the police-to-citizen ratio.
These are challenges that our local police officers cannot afford. We cannot build safer communities if national government doesn’t urgently come to the table with adequate resources to address the shortcomings.
However, what the DA-led Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town is doing to supplement SAPS is showing encouraging results.
For years, Nyanga was considered the murder capital of South Africa until the most recent crime statistics demonstrated a 24% drop in the murder rate in this area. We have also seen a 40.5% reduction in crime in Kraaifontein, a 21% drop in Khayelitsha and 14% in Harare.
These successes in Nyanga and other crime hotspots across the city can be attributed to the work of the DA-led Western Cape Government and the City of Cape Town’s LEAP programme, their support to Neighbourhood Watches, as well as their working relationship with the SAPS.
The Nyanga success story proves that there is a solution to the issue of safety on the table that can be replicated and rolled out across South Africa, making it safer for all citizens.
The evidence also overwhelmingly shows that policing competencies must be devolved to competent local and provincial governments, who have the political will and capabilities to ensure that we build on these successes and do even more to make our communities safer.
We are extremely proud of the work our DA governments are doing in the Western Cape and the City of Cape Town, and we look forward to seeing further successes in this regard, but we can do much more if we are given the authority to run a provincial police competency.