Pretoria - The DA in Gauteng says its oversight inspection of the Pretoria Central police station has confirmed several complaints of “hazardous conditions” for personnel and detained suspects.
“The DA can confirm that the old building is in a terrible state due to poor planning and a lack of regular and proper maintenance. There is mould and leakages in the underground parking and towards the holding cells,” said Crezane Bosch, the party’s spokesperson for community safety who is also a member of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature.
“It is reported that several complaints have been made to the SAPS provincial commissioner and the Department of Public Works, yet very little has been done. However, when maintenance has been done by the Public Works Department it is temporary patch-work instead of a long-term solution,” she said.
Efforts to get comment from the police station and the Gauteng SAPS were unsuccessful, but the DA insisted that the environment is “not conducive to work in and the personnel at the police station have become a causality of the government’s incompetence over the years”.
Bosch said this week, 21 suspects in the police holding cells had to be shifted to a nearby police station because sewage was flowing in the passages leading to the cells.
“This becomes an inconvenience to the frustrated staff as it takes away human resources because they must move all the arrested suspects to be booked again at the nearest police station.
“The DA is concerned that the Department of Public Works and Property Management has contravened the Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 which states that the health of workers must be protected from a hazardous environment and to provide for issues related thereafter. By contravening this Act, the station's personnel and residents who use the station daily put their health at risk,” she said.
Bosch said the DA in Gauteng would continue to put pressure on Gauteng MEC of Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko to engage the minister of public works to ensure that there is regular and proper maintenance of the police station in Pretoria CBD, and all police stations across the province.