Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has acknowledged that his new safety strategy for the province will cost a lot of money – R1 billion – but he says levels of crime have left him with no other choice.
“I know that this is a lot of money prioritised for crime fighting – not ordinarily a provincial responsibility – and that it will affect other services we deliver to communities… but the levels of violent crime in our communities has left me no choice,” he said on Thursday.
He announced the safety strategy at a media briefing at Cape Town Stadium and was joined by members of his cabinet and City of Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato.
Winde said 3,000 new law enforcement officers would be funded, trained and deployed to operate in the province under the command and control of the Western Cape government.
In addition, 150 investigators will be added to “prepare dockets for prosecution of those alleged to have committed serious and violent crime”.
The safety strategy, Winde said, would be data driven, using technology and information to focus on crime hotspots at specific times and places.
Winde said the strategy has been work in progress. But the grim image the recently released crime statistics painted means the strategy plan will be expedited.
Good secretary general and MPL Brett Herron welcomed the announcement, but cautioned that Winde should “take care in his haste to embed provincial plans in sustainable and holistic strategies with clear outcomes”.
Herron also advised that a focus be made on spatial inequalities in the province, saying environments which are the outcome of apartheid planning “incubate violence and perpetuates exclusion”.
The statistics, released by Police Minister Bheki Cele, revealed that Nyanga remained the murder capital of South Africa, despite a 6.2% decrease in the number of cases in 2018/19, News24 previously reported.
Five other police stations in Cape Town are also among those where the most murders were reported nationwide, with Delft and Khayelitsha being second and third respectively.
The others are Philippi East, Harare, and Gugulethu.
As a result, 1,000 law enforcement officers and 50 investigators will start with their work before the end of this year, Winde said.