Member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature and Democratic Alliance Shadow MEC for Community Safety Crezane Bosch writes that Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s newly launched crime bust unit is ill-equipped and inexperienced to fight crime in the province.
The 4 000 safety wardens are part of the crime bust unit which has only received basic training which is not adequate to tackle serious crimes.
Crime prevention needs proper crime intelligence, which is crucial in identifying crime hotspots, however, there is still a challenge in terms of crime intelligence in the province.
The Gauteng Department for Community Safety and Security still has a vacancy rate of 79% for crime prevention services.
Premier Lesufi has also mentioned that these safety wardens will work in the 40 worst-performing police stations in the province, yet there is no proper data in terms of the needs and priorities of these police stations so that the resources can be allocated accordingly.
Gauteng should learn from the DA-led Western Cape Law Enforcement Plan (LEAP) programme which has been successful in preventing crime in conjunction with the SAPS.
The DA has tabled questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to ascertain whether the national regulatory processes were followed in launching the crime bust unit.
This is because the City of Cape Town had to undergo strict regulatory processes before launching the LEAP Programme.
If Gauteng did not follow the same processes, Lesufi’s programme needs to be stopped until it complies with the national legislation.
We can’t afford to have wardens on the streets that do not comply with the regulations because they will become a danger to the lives of Gauteng residents.
This is a clear indication that Lesufi is making promises as he goes along and changes them at a whim, which shows that he has no idea what is needed and that he is merely politicking with people’s lives.
This is not a way to address crime.
The DA’s Community Safety Oversight Bill makes provision for a proper advisory committee, and it is high time that the bill is approved to get experts involved to address crime.
*The author of this article is Crezane Bosch a Democratic Alliance (DA) member of the Gauteng Provincial legislature. The views expressed by Crezane Bosch – who is also the DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Community Safety – are not necessarily those of The Bulrushes