MEC Mokaba Phukwane must account for the ailing police stations in Limpopo

By Katlego Suzan Phala MPL, DA Spokesperson on Transport , Safety , Security and Liaison.

The DA will write to the Portfolio Committee Chairperson on Safety , Security and Liaison , Dickson Masemola , to summons MEC Mapula Mokaba Phukwane to appear and explain  why her department continuously fails to capacitate remote police stations to effectively combat crime.

In a recent reply to the DA’s written question the MEC indicates that Alldays Police Station , has been 38 posts and four additional members in the 2012 to 2014 financial year.

However due to the ever increasing population in the area, the station needs 60 new members to combat the escalating crime rate in the area.

According to the crime statistics released early this year regarding the area:

  • Malicious injury to property increased by 53%
  • Burglary at residential premises increased  by more than 30%
  • Stock theft increased by more than 40%

These crimes have been on an upward trend for the past three years due to insufficient police personnel and resources. Senwabarwana Police Station in Bochum is another example of how insufficient police personnel severely frustrates crime fighting efforts particularly in rural areas.

According to the departmental response, this police station is meant to have 151 members to serve this community yet due to ‘financial constraints’ the station has been granted only 72 positions.

Crime in this area has flourished :

  • 100 premises have reported a case of burglary
  • Drug related crimes have increased by 58% while shockingly ,
  • Stock theft has increased at a staggering 120%

During the department’s budget speech, MEC Mokaba Phukwane  placed great emphasis on increasing the number of police stations in certain areas in the province yet remains ambiguous on plans to improve the quality and access to the already existing police stations.

At the portfolio committee meeting, the DA will demand MEC to declare publicly what the exact and detailed plans are to assist these ailing police stations and others across the province. A police service that is overstretched and under resourced is unsustainable and unrealistic.

The DA vision to all South Africans is to implement policy in support of a police service that is properly equipped, well trained and respond rapidly to any threat to the personal safety of citizens and prevent crime before it occurs.

The DA believes that police force in the province will fall further behind the fight against crime particularly within rural areas, if the MEC and the Provincial Police Commissioner, Lt.Gen. Fanie Masemola do not consider radical changes such as increasing the staff component, volunteer police, bigger stations and major equipment upgrades.