Eastern Cape crime rate putting strain on dept's budget

JULY 24, 2015

The Department of Social Development in the Eastern Cape says the growing number of murders and other crimes in the province are putting a strain on its budget as it seeks to assist the families affected. Murder cases increased by over 3% - from 3 325 to 3 373, in the 2013/2014 financial year. 

“We attribute that to the fact that the poverty line in the Eastern Cape is very high and the unemployment is very high. We find that, that combination, it can result to these social ills and these social ills, and then they end up then coming hard to the budget of the department,”spokesperson, Gcobani Maswana told the SABC.

Maswana said that the department has now established a family-based model that seeks to strengthen families who are affected by crime in the province.

Provincial Communications Officer in the Eastern Cape, Lieutenant Khaya Tonjeni, also said that the South African Police Service has put in place strategies to curb crime in the rural parts of the province.

“The rural areas are policed through the rural safety strategies - a plan that deals with crime in rural areas and also the farming lands. SAPS also engage in sector policing, which is a strategy where bigger areas are divided in smaller manageable areas. It makes it easier and manageable to work in this strategy.

"Also, this encompasses constant patrols, community engagement and liquor operations, as abuse of liquor is a contributing factor in the commission or crime,” he told the SABC. 

Police have called on communities to increase their efforts in helping to reduce crime.