Parliament, Tuesday, 14 November 2017 – The Portfolio Committee on Police has today received a comprehensive report from the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial South African Police Service management team in relation to various challenges around policing in the province. The report-back followed a recent oversight visit by the Committee to the province.
In relation to Glebelands hostel, the Committee has noted the increased deployments of Visible Policing Unit in Umlazi and particularly Glebelands hostel. The increased deployment has been augmented with personnel from other units such as Public Order Policing, Metro Police as well as deployments from National Office.
The Committee has highlighted the need to strengthen the cluster management system in Umlazi as it is of the view that strong leadership is necessary to effectively fight acts of crime at the hostel and in the area. The Committee welcomes the assurance that a team of eight full-time members have been dedicated to investigate Glebelands Hostel cases. The Committee has reemphasised the need to adequately resource the team to make their jobs easier.
The centrality of Crime Intelligence in fighting crime in general has also been emphasised by the Committee. “Intelligence is of importance if the police are to succeed in reducing instances of murder at the hostel. We urge you to increase collaboration between the SAPS units in dealing with crime at the hostel,” said Mr Francois Beukman, the Chairperson of the Committee.
Despite this, the Committee is concerned about reports that the recent murders at the hostel happen mainly in dark areas and rooms. The Committee recommended following its oversight that the MEC: CoGTA intervene to address issues of bed allocations and administration at the hostel. The Committee is concerned that this recommendation has not been implemented fully as yet.
The Committee welcomes the re-enlistment of seven detectives and the members have resumed service on the 1st of November. The Committee has re-emphasised the need to continuously monitor the vacancy rate within the detective services in the province.
The availability of vehicles has also been highlighted as a priority area by the Committee. The 83.38% vehicle availability for KwaZulu-Natal remains a concern as it represents a marginal increase from the 82.4% availability when the Committee visited the province.
In relation to the stolen firearms at Mitchell’s Plain and Bellville South police stations, the Committee welcomes the recovery of three firearms that were stolen at the two police stations. “While the Committee acknowledges the work done to recover the lost firearms, it has urged the National Bureau for Illegal Firearms Control and Priority Violent Crime (NBIFCPVC) unit to heighten its investigations to recover the remaining lost firearms,” Mr Beukman emphasised.
The Committee remains of the view that proliferation of firearms and dangerous weapons is the basis upon which many crimes are committed. As such, interventions to clear the streets of South Africa of guns must be strengthened.
In relation to Illegal mining, the Committee welcomes the commitment to Public Private Partnership as a tool to fight the increasing cases of illegal mining. Similarly, the commitment to intelligence-led operations in dealing with cases of illegal mining is welcomed.
The Committee will continue to monitor the implementation of recommendations made following their KwaZulu-Natal visit. Furthermore, the Committee will continuously engage the DPCI on fighting illegal mining and illicit financial flows.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON POLICE, MR FRANCOIS BEUKMAN
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