KZN SAPS is completely unprepared for future violent unrest

30 Jun 2022 in Press Statements

The Democratic Alliance today completed its week long tour in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) to assess the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) state of readiness to deal with future violent unrest in the province.

Almost a year after violence broke out in KZN, in July 2021, we have met with victims of crime and members of the SAPS to gain insight into the state of policing.

From our engagements with the SAPS it is clear that they are completely unprepared for future violent unrest which might occur. SAPS members told us that they had received no additional resources since the violent unrest of July 2021. Most police stations did not have working generators or phone lines and it was clear that morale among SAPS members is at an all time low.

In a recent response to a parliamentary question submitted by the DA, Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, revealed that more than 50% of the fleet for the Public Order Police in KZN is not operational (view here). This shocking revelation comes nearly a full year after the violent unrest which brought the province to its knees.

Conversations with victims of crime painted a bleak picture of corruption and careless police work which has led to heightened levels of public distrust in the SAPS in KZN. The state of policing in KZN is clearly a crisis which requires urgent attention from the Minister and National Police Commissioner.

The statistics for the province of KwaZulu-Natal dubbed the “murder and rape capital” of the country are far worse on the ground than they are on paper. We have listened to residents who have fallen victim to the very people that are supposed to protect them and denied the protection afforded to them in the South African constitution.

We stand together in the same corner with law abiding South Africans from all communities who have been failed by the police and want to live in safety.

We will be taking these issues up with the National Police Commissioner and present our proposals to help curb crime.

The DA is fighting to creating a safe environment for all South Africans, a country that we can all be proud of, instead of constantly living in fear.