More then 50% of Nyanga police vehicles are gathering dust
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Cape Town– Out of the 44 police vehicles in Nyanga police station, only 18 are fully operational. The rest are standing inside the station’s garage.
Of the 32 detective cars, eight are gathering dust.
This was revealed by police minister Bheki Cele when he visited Nyanga recently.
“This means 26 vehicles are not operating and I would have wished that this number is vice versa,” said Cele.
For the past decade Nyanga was known as the country murder capital, until this year when it was overtaken by Plessislaer in KwaZulu-Natal.
Khayelitsha currently tops as murder capital in Cape Town, while Nyanga ranks 9th nationally.
Cele said police management needs to address the issue of police vehicles.
“We did say that 70% of police vehicles must be on the road and 30% in the garage but it looks like it’s vice versa. There are police vehicles, some of them are used for dating, others carrying groceries.”
He called on the community policing forums and communities to speak out against the abuse of police resources.
Thulani Pike from Equal Rights Forum said it was disappointing that only 18 vehicles are operational.
“The biggest challenge in Nyanga is resources. The CPF has been engaging with the station commander for the past decade. Nyanga was a murder capital for a decade and things have changed now but we have never received a report from the minister about plans to make Nyanga safer,” said Pike.
He added that there are areas smaller than Nyanga but with more resources.
“Sea Point is smaller than Nyanga but they have more police vehicles than us. We are not prioritised.”
Head of research and policy at Social Justice Coalition, Khensani Motileni said it was not shocking that a number of cars are not operating.
“Not at all. We are not prioritised in any way. Crime stats should be a great indicator of how to allocate resources but none of that is done. We haven’t forced on specific line items like vehicles because communities highlight the non-existent relationship between them and SAPS,” said Motileni.
She added that Makhaza, in Khayelitsha, still does not have a police station in 2021 despite recommendation from the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry Report.
“Yet, nearby areas are ranked in the top 10 or 5 of the most violent and dangerous places in the country. Definitely a lack of political will. There’s a narrative that poor black people and working-class communities can wait but how many more lives have to be lost?”
MEC of community safety Albert Fritz said the Western Cape government was asking for greater policing responsibilities so that challenges like vehicular resourcing can be resolved.
“Through our ’Policing Needs and Priorities’ reports, the department of community safety has for a number of years been drawing attention to the lack of human and physical resources at stations. This includes issues around police vehicles.
“In terms of the Constitution, the national minister is obliged to take our PNP reports into account, but of course, our reports are just blue-ticked. That is why we, as a provincial government, are demanding greater policing powers and responsibility, in terms of the existing constitutional framework,” said Fritz.