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Crime prevention, policing and GBV dominate second reading of budget appropriations debate

Forensic and Pathology members removing the four bodies of men who were shot and killed in New Monwabisi Park. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Forensic and Pathology members removing the four bodies of men who were shot and killed in New Monwabisi Park. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Published Mar 28, 2022

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Cape Town - The twin issues of crime prevention and policing, as well as the gender-based violence (GBV) scourge in the Province took centre stage during the second reading debate of the 2022/3 appropriations bill.

In his speech to the legislature, Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said the Province would spend R4.4 billion over the medium term on safety, which was one of the main pillars of his “Budget to Push Forward”, delivered two weeks ago.

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Maynier said his budget would give hope to people who did not have jobs, and to this end the Province would spend R19.6bn over the medium term on jobs.

He said the provincial government would spend R111.3bn over the medium term on well-being and R30.3bn over the medium term on infrastructure in the Western Cape.

However, members of the opposition said they did not think enough was being done to tackle crime, and the causes of crime such as unemployment and inequality.

ANC provincial social development spokesperson Gladys Bakubaku-Vos said: “Unemployment is highest in those areas that are in the top 30 murder precincts in the province. The continued mass murders in Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, and the ongoing gang violence in Manenberg are testimony to this.”

She said the premier’s safety plan did not address the killings, and that it was not enough to invest only in boots on the ground.

“You must also invest towards addressing causative factors of violent crimes. There needs to be more investment towards CCTVs, and improved lighting and accessibility in the murder hot spots.”

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EFF provincial chairperson Melikhaya Xego said the safety plan was a pipe dream that would never be realised.

Speaking about recent killings in areas such as Manenberg, Endlovini and Enkanini informal settlements, Xego said that in all those areas law enforcement officials were not visible, which pointed to the failures of the safety plan.

“What we see is the provincial government spending millions of rand on law enforcement officers who spend their time patrolling within the Cape Town CBD and not the townships.”

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Opposition leader Cameron Dugmore (ANC) said as part of the ANC’s mission to ensure the Province took GBV seriously, it would be demanding a transversal GBV policy for across the provincial government.

He said this would be accompanied by a call for a matching budget, and that these steps were being suggested in the light of the issues regarding former MEC Albert Fritz and Western Cape Traffic chief Farrell Payne.

Fritz had served as an MPL and MEC for community safety until his dismissal from the position amid sexual misconduct allegations earlier this year. Payne is to appear in the Cape Town Regional Court after allegations of improper conduct and sexual harassment.

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