Ricochet News

Police’s R26-billion budget to fight crime questioned

By Charl Bosch - Oct 1, 2015
Police’s R26-billion budget to fight crime questioned

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has described the South African Police Services’ (SAPS) tabling of a R26-billion budget to fight crime as incomprehensible.

Speaking in a statement following the release of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s crime statics on Tuesday, DA Shadow Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler-Barnard, said the amount, laid out in the Police’s annual report for 2015 / 2016, amounted to over a third of its national budget, and shows a “complete lack of will” by government “to prioritise the safety and security of South Africans”.

“This is glaring evidence that the SAPS in fact has the money to introduce the necessary interventions to arrest the soaring crime rates as revealed yesterday but simply refuses to do so,” Kohler-Barnard said.

“The R26-billion should go towards renovating crumbling police stations, to supplying more vehicles, to recruiting and training more SAPS members that the country desperately needs to fight crime. Instead, this amount is what the SAPS believes will be needed to clean up the mess that its members create”.

In tabling the findings, Nhleko, accompanied by embattled National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega, revealed that the country’s national crime rate increased by 0.9% for 2014 / 2015, with the biggest contributors being truck hijackings (29.1%), car jackings (14.2%), aggravated robbery (8.5%) and murder (4.6%).

Taking a swipe at Nhleko and Phiyega, Kohler-Barnard stated that police criminality under their watch has continued to show and upwards trend, adding that the stats can hardly be viewed as having “a good story to tell”.

“Continuing to throw money at the problem is not a solution to solving either the problem or the high levels of crime. Crime affects each and every one of us,” she said.

“The fact is South Africans are being killed, robbed and maimed and only a career Police Officer, a tightening of regulations, and a clear out of criminal cops will start the turn-around needed to make this country work”.