Budget vote speech: Safety, Security and Liaison

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered by Katlego Suzan Phala DA MPL, to the Limpopo Provincial Legislature on 04 June 2015 during the Debate on the 2015 Budget of the Department of Safety, Security and Liaison.

“Be the change you want to see”

The year 2015 marks a new era for the DA nationally and in this province.

The Democratic Alliance now has a Values Charter that is underpinned by principles of Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity.

We aim to realise these principles in Limpopo by firstly introducing a private member’s bill to restrict the use of blue lights and the use of sirens on motor vehicle transporting office bearers of government.

These regulations are to promote road safety especially after the unfortunate death of Minister Chabane and many other office bearers who have passed under similar circumstances before him.

Where the DA governs, such regulations have been implemented with success, and to date no politician or official has been restricted from performing their functions due to a lack of blue lights.

The DA embodies and enacts the change it wants to see.

Hon.Speaker

We hope that the ANC will see this as an opportunity to be closer to the people and change the sour perception  some members of the public already have of them.

The budget vote the Hon.MEC presented was an old song with a new tune.

There is a an old saying  which when paraphrased says that,  not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society.

When addressing the increase in crime all the MEC could offer us is that the dept. ‘would do more’.

There was very little tangible, specific and clear direction on the immediate implementation.

This dept. needs to become the change it wants to see in our society.

We are concerned that there are obvious differences between her promises and what her department has delivered.

It is the daily reality of ordinary people in this province that the MEC has blatantly disregarded and ignored.

The DA believes that individuals cannot reach their potential and take advantage of opportunities if they live in fear.

When we constrain individuals in pursuing their life goals, we are constraining the well-being of communities.

Personal safety is a prerequisite for creating an environment in which South Africans can thrive.

We are extremely concerned about the implications of the crime statistics released by the Police Commissionar LT F Masemola in the 3rd quarter of the 2014/15 financial year.

Serious crimes such as attempted murder, sexual offence, robbery with aggravating circumstances and hijacking are rapidly increasing in our province.

  • Drug related crimes increased by 27.6%
  • Robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by a shocking 31.6%
  • Robbery at residential premises increased by 25.2%

Clearly, the millions spent on hosting Summits and talk-shops are no longer adequate in fighting the growing scourge of crime.

Surely, with a budget of over   R 17 million for the sub-programme of crime prevention the dept. of Safety and Security can do better.

The DA believes that whilst the budget for the portfolio as a whole may be increased, this does not necessarily translate into effective crime-combating measures.

How can we believe the Hon.MEC when she states that three six hundred school safety teams have now been set up to work with police when  only two hundred and twenty three out of a possible three thousand eight hundred and twenty nine schools have been searched in the last two financial years?

At a time when more that 50% of Limpopo residents are using Marijuana and a high percentage of the population are hooked to CAT/Tik and other drugs, it is frightening that the only programmes your dept. has in combating the scourge of drugs is through drug awareness programmes and random school searches.

The victims of drug-related crimes, and those who live in fear of further such incidents, know that these programmes are not working.

The DA recommends the establishment of well-resourced specialised drug units.

We also propose :

  • A police service that is properly equipped, well trained and able to both recognise and respond rapidly and effectively to any threat to the personal safety of South African citizens;
  • A justice system that has the necessary independence and resources.
  • A correctional service system that allows people convicted of crimes to be securely detained and offers effective rehabilitation.
  • A support system that is attuned to the needs of the victims of crime.

The goals, at the end of the day are simply safety and security.