Police minister Bheki Cele has given the assurance that 1000 new police recruits will be deployed in the Western Cape immediately after they have completed their training. This was one of the outcomes of a meeting with MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz this week. It follows a spike in crime and gang violence in the Western Cape and increased calls for more policing. The Western Cape government believes there is a lack of equitable policing resources in the province and this has given rise to the declaration of an intergovernmental dispute by the Premier of the Western Cape.
According to the MEC’s office, the meeting was conducted in a cordial spirit of collaboration and cooperation. Both Minister Cele and Minister Fritz agreed that the task of building safer communities requires immediate and priority attention.
Minister Cele gave the assurance that the resourcing of police stations in the Western Cape is being addressed with no fewer than 1000 new police recruits, out of the 5000 currently receiving training at the SAPS Academy, that will be deployed in the Western Cape immediately after they have completed their training,” said spokesperson Cayla Murray.
“They also agreed that the complexities surrounding the equitable distribution of police resources, will be best addressed via a negotiated process aligned with the determination of a remedy to address the ruling of the Equality Court last year in the matter SJC and Another vs. the Minister of Police and Another.”
She said Minister Cele also expressed his willingness to engage further on the proposals made by the Western Cape Government to alleviate the work of police and in particular the funding which was made available by the Western Cape Government in the amount of R5 million. Both parties agreed that this money should be “invested for maximum impacts” in the efforts by both governments to create safer communities.
Minister Cele highlighted the need for a whole of society approach for the eradication of crime and raised environmental design challenges, as one of the issues SAPS is unable to resolve by the additional allocation of resources alone.
“Minister Fritz agreed that dialogue with interested stakeholders as to solutions was vital and both parties committed to follow-up dialogue sessions on a regular basis for this purpose.”