Tavern carnage: It is time to adopt the DA’s Gauteng Community Safety Oversight Bill

Issued by Solly Msimanga MPL – DA Gauteng Leader of the Official Opposition
11 Jul 2022 in News

Gauteng continues to become a lawless society, and many innocent lives have been lost due to a lack of political leadership to ensure that the law enforcement agencies execute their mandate of preventing crime and ensuring residents’ safety.

This past weekend two people were killed, and four others were wounded in a tavern shooting in Katlehong, Ekurhuleni on Friday night. In the early hours of Sunday morning, fifteen people were shot dead in yet another tavern shooting in Soweto, leaving several others injured in hospital.

Soweto and Katlehong are among the high crime spots areas in the province, yet the Gauteng provincial government is not doing enough to ensure that police stations in those areas are well-equipped with much-needed resources to fight crime. The leadership of the current Gauteng government has admitted that we are living in a lawless society, but they do not have a plan to turn the situation around.

It is now time to adopt the DA’s Gauteng Community Safety Oversight Bill to improve the police intelligence to fight and prevent crime. The Bill would give effect to the province’s constitutional mandate and regulate the Gauteng Provincial Government’s powers and functions regarding its oversight function over the police services.

The taverns shootings have created unnecessary anxiety about the ability of the SAPS to ensure business safety through visible policing, with people now being scared to visit taverns and these businesses being at risk of losing their clientele base. Taverns like many small businesses that operate in townships play a critical role in the economy and creating local employment which makes their safety even more critical for the economic stability of these communities.

The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko and the Gauteng SAPS Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela must immediately engage with the tavern’s associations and the Gauteng Liquor Board to ascertain the root of these violent incidents. They must also implement a crime prevention strategy to ensure the safety of taverns across the province.

The DA is embarking on its own oversight inspection of the 144 police stations in Gauteng to assess the challenges that the police stations are faced with on a daily basis as well as provide solutions to ensure that the police can execute their work without any hindrance.

Our residents deserve a police service that is adequately resourced to keep them safe in their homes and everywhere they go, and the DA will continue to advocate for the safety of Gauteng residents.