I have this week tabled questions in the provincial legislature in relation to the status of the Fountain Ave satellite police station in Walmer Township in Port Elizabeth. I was shocked that the station was unmanned, at around 11:30 am when I paid an unannounced oversight visit there on Friday (subs: 21 July) following complaints from the community. This is a slap in the face to the community. When we arrived, the only member of the SAPS was on the way out to deal with a case. For my questions click Question re Fountain Ave satellite station
The complaints I received came from the Area A Community Committee, a member of the Community Policing Forum, Ward Councillor Dave Hayselden and PR Councillor Thobani Noqoli. The two councillors also accompanied me on the oversight visits.
I was informed that this station is not permanently manned and has no running water as, ironically, the pipes had been stolen some time ago. If a fire broke out at the station the fire hose, which was attached to the outside wall, could not be utilised. This I personally observed along with the stolen pipes.
There is a high crime rate in Walmer Township and this community deserves a 24-hour policing service. This station needs to be properly manned and resourced.
Recently, my colleague in the National Parliament, Zakhele Mbhele MP, wrote to the Police Portfolio Committee Chairperson, Francois Beukman, asking that Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, and Public Works Minister, Nathi Nhleko, brief the committee on the shocking state of satellite police stations in Durban, their buildings, and facilities, and to give an update on how under-resourcing and under-staffing will be remedied. I will request him to also add this station to his list.
The DA will continue to fight for a safer province in which there is high visibility policing so our communities no longer have to live in fear of the criminal element. — Bobby Stevenson MPL, Shadow MEC for Safety and Security