Lack of SAPS compliance levels with the Domestic Violence Act and the issuing of illegal taxi licences; pose a threat on civilian lives. These were amongst the key concerns brought forward by the Provincial Democratic Alliance’s spokesperson Melinda Hattingh, during her debate speech at the tabling of the budget speech by the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison last week. The DA pointed out that the Department had the most crucial role to play in society but had failed to deliver basic safety services to the Northern Cape. “Crime is out of control. Our young people are dying from drugs. We are tired of hearing about plans to make plans. We want action, “declared Hattingh sternly.
The DA’s Melinda Hattingh highlighted how the lack of SAPS compliance to the Domestic Abuse Act placed the lives of victims of abuse at risk. Hattingh said it was worrying that the Department continued to withhold information from the public about police compliance year after year. “It is disappointing that a department that works so closely with the long arm of the law considers it okay to tell half truths. Imagine my surprise when I recently read an article that revealed that 24 police stations in Northern Cape were without victim friendly rooms,” said the MPL.
She further went on to say that there was a serious deficiency in resources needed in ensuring justice was served in the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual units. “The Northern Cape is facing a shortage of 35 vehicles, 1350 rape kits, 1700 DNA collection kits, 21 landline telephones, 41 bulletproof vests, 17 pieces of recording equipment for interviews and 40 laptops.”
Furthermore, the party says in the telling of ‘half truths’ the SAPS has done victims of crime in the province a great disservice, leading them to question the Civilian Oversight programme; “the programme fails to make recommendations to the SAPS to improve service delivery based on its monitoring and evaluations. This programme merely acts as an extension of the SAPS, defending SAPS instead of holding SAPS accountable.”
In addition the party welcomed the restriction of licensing delegation however Hattingh pointed out that there were still 300 taxi’s driving around with fraudulent licenses and this factor could have serious ramifications on the lives of the common man. “A fraudulent licence is wrong. It is wrong on the part of the licenser and it is wrong on the part of the licensee. Unless the department stops compromising on the law and starts taking decisive action, the Northern Cape will soon find itself in the midst of a taxi war. Our roads are already a war-zone we don’t need any more bloodshed,” said Hattingh.
The DA has urged the MEC of Transport, Safety and Liaison Lebogang Mothlaping to ‘turn up the heat’ in the 2018/2019 financial year and place the safety of the people first.