By Michele Clarke MPL, DA Gauteng Spokesperson: Community Safety:
Gauteng’s Department of Community Safety is once again failing to meet basic targets, thereby compromising the security of residents of this province.
Of particular concern are the following:
- Poor financial management: the department currently has outstanding accruals to the tune of R98 million and they have been instructed to use savings to resolve payment
- Budget underspending: this is a yearly issue and in the 2014/15 financial year the department has only spent 90% of its budget
- Monitoring and evaluation of stations: only 11 police stations were reached out of a target of 35
- The Civilian Secretariat: This crucial oversight mechanism has still not been established in its entirety despite promised completion this past year
- Functional Community Policing Forum’s (CPF’s): Out of a target of 36, only 23 are constituted. However, training of members of the CPF’s has not been achieved as the tender for this was cancelled
- School substance abuse programmes: targets were not met despite an overwhelming increase in substance abuse in the province
- Despite good budget spending on traffic operations, road fatalities in the province have not decreased. The department claims that they cannot afford weekend overtime expenses and as such are unable to operate during peak times for drunken and reckless driving.
Failure to meet these basic targets is simply not acceptable and the same shortcomings seem to present themselves on an annual basis.
The lack of political will to address these issues is concerning and I will be writing to both MEC of Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, as well as the Chairperson of the Community Safety Committee in the Legislature to request a turn-around strategy for this department.
Spiralling crime rates in Gauteng will not be improved if this department continues to ignore this poor delivery of its mandate.