File photo: SAPS.

DURBAN - The parliamentary portfolio committee on police unanimously approved a firearms amnesty on Wednesday, saying this would help fight crime by clearing weapons from the streets. 

A recommendation will now be made to the National Assembly that the amnesty be approved. 

The committee proposed that the starting date for the amnesty be moved from December 1 to May 2020 to allow administrative processes to be concluded.
It also urged the ministry and the South African Police Service (SAPS) to consider a concession for people who were not able to renew their firearms licences, and to allow them to utilise the amnesty period to apply for the necessary licences.  
"Despite the approval, the committee has requested a detailed report of the 2005 and 2010 firearms amnesty that outlines a breakdown of the firearms received, either legal or illegal. Furthermore, the committee has requested a provisional report on the implementation of the amnesty at the beginning of February and every second month thereafter.  
"The committee urges all South Africans to take advantage of the amnesty and to surrender their firearms to the SAPS and actively to participate in efforts to remove firearms from our streets as a means to aid the fight against crime," said the committee. 

African News Agency (ANA)