By Mireille Wenger MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Community Safety, Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Community Safety in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament:
Following reports that Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula has been appointed as the new Police Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the Western Cape, the DA in the Western Cape wishes the new commissioner well in this important post.
The new Commissioner will have his work cut out for him and we look forward to engaging with him once he is in office. In my capacity as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, I have written to General Jula to wish him well and to highlight key policing concerns and needs in the Western Cape.
As the 2014/15 crime statistics revealed, the Western Cape is hard hit by crime and violence and gang related violence, with 3186 murders being reported in the province between April 2014 and March 2015.
To combat this gruesome reality, it is critical that Commissioner Jula devote his attention to the following issues that challenge policing in the Western Cape:
- Gang-related violence;
- The high murder rate;
- Vacancies and the shortage of police officers, especially visible policing, detectives as well as the low recruitment rate of reservists;
- Insufficient police resources, including the faulty call scanners at the 10111 contact centre;
- Police brutality, and;
- Fostering good community police relations.
We believe that safety is everyone’s responsibility and we therefore hope that Commissioner Jula will partner and expand police engagement with communities and community safety structures such as Community Policing Forums, Neighbourhood Watches, National and Provincial Government Departments, Non-Governmental Organisations, Faith-Based Organisations, Business Organisations, Local Ward Councillors, Victim Support Members, Municipal Managers and members of the community.
That being said, policing remains a national competency, with the National Police Commissioner at the helm. We trust that General Jula will lead the Western Cape SAPS to make a real impact on reducing crime and violence, and to protect the law-abiding people of the Western Cape.