Durban — The ANC says the R160 million set aside by the province must be used mainly to fight crime and will also pay community policing forum (CPF) members and create job opportunities.
This follows the surge in crimes in KwaZulu-Natal in the past months, including gun violence, mass shootings and taxi violence, leaving the province in distress.
ANC provincial secretary Bheki Mtolo said the provincial executive committee (PEC) received a detailed report on the allocation of resources by all government departments to sustain a united front against crime.
“This is based on the integrated approach, involving all spheres of government to eradicate crime from our society.
“All provincial government departments have allocated R10 million each towards crime-fighting initiatives. The PEC is firm on its position that this money must also be used to pay stipends to volunteers involved in CPFs, street committees and other crime-fighting initiatives.
“Collectively, we must deal decisively with the culture of impunity and the perception of a relatively easy life through criminal activities so that criminals who are terrorising communities will have no space in our communities. Regular raids and police visibility in areas with high levels of crime will be intensified.”
Mtolo said the PEC had mandated the provincial government through community safety liaison, Cogta and the Department of Health to work with traditional leaders to uproot some crimes as a result of distorted interpretations of culture, tradition and rituals conducted by murderers.
“We cannot afford to have killings such as those last week of 10 Memela family members in Imbali, Pietermaritzburg,” said Mtolo.
“We are calling all traditional healers to stamp out mutilation, harvesting and sale of human tissue on the pretext of use in medicinal preparations. Procuring human tissue will land perpetrators in jail. Those who understand the tradition should defend their tradition from criminals,” Mtolo said.
Strong action and vigilance from traditional leaders would assist to reduce such actions and other misconduct that had in the past resulted in faction fights, Mtolo said.
He said the ANC affirmed it support of the increase of stipends paid to secretaries of traditional councils from R1500 to R8000. Mtolo said there were back-office and administrative support provided by secretaries to traditional leaders who remained the ears and the eyes of Isilo Samabandla.
DA provincial spokesperson on crime MPL Sharon Hoosen said the premier and the MEC of Community Safety had no strategic plan to actually spend the more than R160 million on crime-fighting initiatives.
“We will continue to see that crime has reached even higher levels at the quarterly crime statistics. Community Safety has not even tabled a report on how the money would be spent because the ANC is planning to spend taxpayers’ money as they move from one election campaign trail to the next, making more broken promises,” said Hoosen.
KwaZulu-Natal chairperson of the House of Traditional Leaders Sfiso Shinga said they accepted the increase of stipends paid to secretaries of traditional councils.
“We have been fighting for the increase for a very long time and we are happy to see that it has finally come to fruition. Secretaries play a very important role and should be valued and respected,” said Shinga.
MPL and IFP provincial spokesperson on Community Safety Blessed Gwala said the suggestion was good as long as the budget was channelled to do what it was appropriated to do and that CPFs needed training to be effective on the ground and to provide support to police in fighting crime.
“Our concern as the IFP is the justice system which has failed many citizens as criminals have more freedom than ordinary members of the public.”
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