Lesufi hailed for leading crime fight

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s office will lead the Department of Community Safety. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s office will lead the Department of Community Safety. Picture: Timothy Bernard / Independent Newspapers

Published Jul 7, 2024


Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi’s decision to head the Community Safety Department under his office in order to tackle crime, was welcomed by ActionSA days after announcing his new members of the provincial council.

Lesufi’s cabinet appointment follows the divorce of the ANC and DA under the guise of the Government of Provincial Unity (GPU).

Having provincially come fifth place post election results, ActionSA Gauteng caucus leader Funzi Ngobeni hailed Lesufi’s determination on curbing crime.

However, he questioned Lesufi’s eligibility to eradicate crime since the formation of amaPanyaza, which are formally referred to as Crime Prevention Wardens.

“We can say the premier takes the issue of crime seriously himself, to the point he wants to oversee it himself, but you have to question whether he is the right person to do that work considering the gimmicks he has been doing with the amaPanyaza which he took almost eight months to ‘legalise’,” said Ngobeni during an interview on Newzroom Afrika.

According to Statistics South Africa, Pretoria ranked as the highest crime infested city, scoring 81.8% in 2023, while Johannesburg came third place accounting 80.7% of the total rate.

Being a recent victim of a hijacking, Ngobeni encouraged Lesufi to work closely with the new Police Minister Senzo Mchunu.

“The premier must work with the SAPS and minister Senzo Mchunu to ensure the police are well capacitated and they are on the ground in the province,” he said.

To run a well-oiled department, Lesufi must ensure the police, and police stations, are rendered sufficient resources to lower the crime rate in Gauteng, Ngobeni said.

“The premier must ensure police stations are well equipped, such as generators when load shedding occurs. If the premier himself believes he is able to turn around by ensuring this department presides over his office, it’s something we welcome and we give him a chance because crime is one of those major issues that must be dealt with for residents and businesses’ safety,” said Ngobeni.

Lesufi follows in the footsteps of KwaZulu-Natal’s newly inaugurated premier, Thami Ntuli, who pledged to tackle crime thus, his (Ntuli) office will lead the same department.

“Our agenda to protect the weak, the poor and vulnerable members of society, will now be led from the office of the premier. The fight against crime is going to be the centre of this government. We are migrating this responsibility to the office of the premier so that we can lead and champion the fight against crime.

“We can’t surrender our province to criminals. We can’t be scared of our own shadows and convert our houses to prisons, because criminals are doing as they wish. If there is one priority of the government of Gauteng for the next five years, it is our relentless effort to confront and fight crime head-on,” said Lesufi.

Now MEC for Social Development, Faith Mazibuko previously captained the Department of Community Safety.