Municipal IQ’s Municipal Hotspots Monitor showed there were 155 major protests during 2013. Up to and including April this year, riots were still happening at the rate of nearly one every day.
Since February, the Johannesburg Pop only received six soft shell vehicles, while six vehicles were withdrawn from service.
The numerous Nyala armoured personnel carriers standing at the unit have gearbox and engine troubles, while some only require a destroyed tyre to be repaired. Photographic evidence showed burst tyres, vehicles standing on jacks, and hydraulic lifters for cow catchers out of order.
The financial authority to repair soft shell vehicles can take weeks, sometimes months.
In November, the commanding officer Colonel HD Makhubele wrote to the Gauteng Provincial Head of Operational Response Service.
Makhubele stated Johannesburg Pop served 52 police stations and with the workload it faced, “policing of these areas and events cannot be exercised professionally”.
He also wrote “Various specialised units request our assistance on an ongoing basis (eg;Sherrifs, City Power, PPU, Organised Crime Unit etc..). Assistance can therefore not be given to these units because of a shortage of manpower”.
Little has changed at the unit, other than Makhubele was transferred.