Police Minister Bheki Cele. File photo: ANA
Police Minister Bheki Cele. File photo: ANA

Western Cape cabinet declares intergovernmental dispute over SAPS programme

By Thembelihle Mkhonza Time of article published Apr 29, 2019

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Johannesburg - The Western Cape provincial cabinet on Monday said it had given notice declaring an intergovernmental dispute with the ANC-led national government about its "failure to address the Province’s Policing Needs and Priorities (PnP)".

Western Cape community safety minister Alan Winde said: "In October last year we wrote an urgent letter to Police Minister Bheki Cele outlining necessary measures to address crime in our province. We followed up in December".

"We have yet to receive an adequate response, or an action plan, from the national police. We have lost complete confidence in - and patience with - the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele and the entire national government. 

"They have on multiple occasions ignored our requests for assistance and intervention, despite a Constitutional obligation to take our recommendations into account."

“They have also disregarded our offer of R5 million to reignite the SAPS reservist programme. And they have ignored our offer to make available Western Cape Government employees to serve as Commissioners of Oaths within police stations. 

"These offers would ensure that police officers are relieved from this administrative duty and instead, patrol our streets where they are desperately needed."

In their formal correspondence to Cele - declaring the dispute - they stated that his continued silence with respect to their letter of 10 October 2018, despite a subsequent follow up in December 2018, left them with no option but to formally notify him that the Western Cape government was declaring his failure to consult with the government with respect to the content of their correspondence to him.

"Our determination of the immediate policing needs and priorities of the Western Cape, [was] delivered to him in terms of section 206 (1) of the Constitution as read with the Intergovernmental Framework Relations Act; and his failure to put in motion the mechanisms for the implementation of those policing needs and priorities, on an urgent basis, in his determination of the National Policing Policy for this province, under section 206 (1) and (2) of the Constitution," said Winde.

He said the national government had consistently demonstrated their unwillingness to engage or co-operate with the Western Cape Provincial Executive and rather chose to politicise the safekeeping of residents.

Winde said in order to obtain urgent redress, they were obligated to now promptly convene a meeting with Cele or his representative in order to determine the precise nature of the disputes. They would also have to identify mechanisms, other than a court of law, that may assist in the resolution, agree on such mechanism and its implementation and designate a facilitator to perform the role set out in section 43 of the said Act in the said implementation. 

To ensure compliance with section 42 of the Act in a co-operative manner, Cele had been requested to provide Winde's office with a suitable date for the meeting, within the next 30 days.

African News Agency (ANA)

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