The Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), Patricia de Lille, has admitted in a parliamentary portfolio committee meeting on police that her Department is in utter chaos and that this is affecting other Departments, like the South African Police Service (SAPS).
The DA supports the suggestion that Minister De Lille returns to the committee to account and present a plan of action after she has done her due diligence in her Department. Minister De Lille seemed completely flabbergasted that DPWI had devolved 289 facilities to SAPS for their own management. Despite the fact that both DPWI and SAPS referred to this devolution in their presentations, Minister de Lille said she wasn’t aware of it.
Minister De Lille’s incompetence is endangering vital service delivery – including the safety and security of the South African public. DPWI’s failure to manage their creditors and maintain facilities has led to declining service delivery from SAPS, including the landlord closing doors of the Criminal Record Centre (CRC) in Pretoria earlier this year and the Nelson Mandela Bay-municipality threatening to cut off electricity to the forensic lab in Gqeberha due to non-payment of a R21 million bill.
SAPS has also complained that DPWI’s contract mismanagement leads to delays in the construction of police stations, as well as delays on critical repairs to infrastructure at stations.
SAPS is already struggling with severe budget cuts, systemic mismanagement and undue political influence – DPWI must not be another stone in the road. Is it any wonder that crime rates in South Africa keep rising when police officials are being hobbled by their own government at every turn?