SAPS failures on the N2 will not go unchecked

Dan Plato, MPP

Western Cape Minister of Community Safety

My office has received reports from the public that the South African Police Services (SAPS) officers patrolling the N2 are claiming that they are severely understaffed and under resourced.

These reports reveal that the SAPS do not have enough resources to ensure regular patrols on the N2 in order to prevent attacks on motorists and that support services like the 10111 emergency number are simply ineffective, with people calling the number being told that they are unable to be assisted.

Following a positive meeting with the SAPS provincial senior management last week on the N2 safety concerns, where they promised increase patrols and interventions to stop the recent surge in attacks on motorists, today’s reports of gross SAPS inefficiencies is simply unacceptable and needs to be addressed immediately by National SAPS management.

We will no longer tolerate a situation where provincial safety and security management reassures us that additional support has been provided and that the problem is under control, when the scenario on the ground remains unchanged.

I will today write to Provincial Police Commissioner, Arno Lamoer, requesting an in-depth report on the ongoing patrols along the N2 highway. Any and all inefficiencies or discrepancies from our original agreement must be addressed without delay. The same request will be extended to Provincial Traffic Chief, Kenny Africa.

Furthermore, I will write to the National Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, requesting him to arrange with the National Police Commissioner, Riah Phiyega, that additional resources are urgently made available for the Western Cape. It is becoming evident that the province is continuously under resourced which not only places the SAPS under extreme pressure but this situation is also putting peoples’ lives at risk.

At a time when the police need the support and assistance of communities to form a united front against crime, more and more people are losing faith in the police. It is also disgraceful that media reports reveal that a call for help by a citizen that had been attacked on the N2 was not addressed by the SAPS on the ground or on the phone. It is simply unacceptable when SAPS members disregard their responsibility to help those in distress.