There has been a dramatic spike in beachfront crime within the Humewood policing precinct, in Nelson Mandela Bay, which could in part be attributed to the appalling vacancies at the Humewood Police Station.
The shortage of manpower allocated to the station needs to be resolved urgently.
In response to a parliamentary question I submitted in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature, Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, revealed that the Humewood police station is 26% under-resourced, having only 175 members out of a fixed establishment of 237.
One cannot wait until December this year for more SAPS members to be allocated to this station.
A beachfront safety sector is urgent if one looks at the recent crime statistics.
When you compare April – December 2020/21 with April – December 2021/22, the number of thefts out of motor vehicles on the beachfront increased from 57 cases to 101.
This kind of theft cannot be combated by the work of the community and neighbourhood watches alone.
The beachfront is no ordinary policing area, and the population can double on a hot summer’s day. It is also the focal point of events, such as the current National Lifesaving Championships and the Iron Man, in early April this year.
If we are to ensure that Nelson Mandela Bay becomes the water sports capital of the world, then we have to improve policing.
Over the years, these events have brought tens of millions of rands into the economy for our metro and the tourism industry, which is a significant driver of job creation.
Our beachfront cannot continue to be vandalized at the rate it is, where toilets and other facilities are continuously damaged.
I will continue to work with DA coucillors Renaldo Gouws, from ward 2, and Dries van der Westhuizen, from Ward 1, who are doing good work on this matter.
We need safety and security, and SAPS needs to act now. I will continue to fight for a fully resourced police service for both Nelson Mandela Bay and the province as a whole.