School Gangs: Safety MEC must devise a provincial gang strategy

Harold McGluwa, ID MPL

DA Northern Cape: Provincial Chairperson Spokesperson on Transport, Safety & Liaison

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is concerned at the increasing spate of gang activity in the province, and its seeming association with the increasing amounts of drugs being peddled into our province.

Recent media reports revealed an operation conducted by the South African Police Services (SAPS) as having confiscated several dangerous weapons and drugs with a street value of R3000, from nine schools in Galeshewe.

The DA is concerned at the rising spate and reported incidents of gang activity in Kimberley and Galeshewe, which is leaving many residents terrified of leaving their homes. Just last month reports emerged of residents in Galeshewe falling prey to increasing spates of housebreakings and gangs which were terrorizing them in their communities and homes.

The MEC of Transport, Safety & Liaison, Mac Jack, cannot sit back whilst our communities demand to a right to live in a safe environment fall on deaf ears.

I have in the recent past questioned why the department of Transport, Safety & Liaison does not take seriously its own Civilian Oversight and Crime Prevention & Community Relations programmes. Of a total budget of just over R299-million for the 2013/14 financial year, these two important programmes combined received R17.7-million. This is a disappointing 5.9% of the budget.

The DA is of the view that this situation requires a swift and coordinated response from the Transport, Safety & Liaison department in partnership with the South African Police Services (SAPS).

I will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Transport, Safety & Liaison in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, requesting that MEC Jack be summoned to appear before the committee with a plan-of-action to stop rising gang and drug activity in our schools and communities in the province.