The Eastern Cape has the worst police stations in the country, with 70 stations in the province in such a bad state that they pose a health and safety risk to occupants and cause major disruption to service capability. Of the 148 stations in the poor category across the country, nearly half are situated in the Eastern Cape.
The DA will be escalating the matter to the National Assembly to get answers from the National Department of Public Works on what is being done to address these issues.
Out of 199 police stations in the Eastern Cape, 70 received a poor (C2) rating, 106 were rated fair (C3), just nine stations were rated good (C4) and 14 stations were rated excellent (C5).
It’s outrageous that police should be subject to poor working conditions which impacts on their ability and motivation to fight crime.
A poor (C2) rating is defined as a station where: “Accommodation has deteriorated badly, with serious structural problems. General appearance is poor with eroded protective coatings; elements are broken; services are not performing; significant number of major defects exists.”
This information was revealed in a report to the Select Committee on Security and Justice in the National Council of Provinces earlier this month.
It is no wonder the province is losing the fight against violent crime, with the highest murder rate in the country!
The huge challenges that stations are facing regarding deteriorating infrastructure and a lack of proper and regular maintenance impacts on the effectiveness and efficiency of SAPS. Some of these stations do not even have operational holding cells, which means SAPS vehicles are being used as a taxi service to ferry criminals between stations, instead of patrolling the streets and keep residents safe!
I have asked the DA Shadow Minister of Public Works, Samantha Graham-Maré, to raise this issue in the National Assembly and get answers from the Department of Public Works as to what is being done to address the issue.
I will also be submitting questions to Community Safety MEC, Weziwe Tikana-Gxothiwe, to determine which of these 70 stations are scheduled to be upgraded in the next year, what budget has been allocated and what steps are being done to secure additional budget to address these challenges.
The DA will continue to fight for the safety of residents by placing the necessary pressure on SAPS to become adequately resourced and do their jobs effectively.