This is an extract of a speech delivered by Marshall von Buchenroder (MPL) on behalf of the National Council of Provinces in Parliament yesterday.
Honourable Chairperson, on behalf of the Democratic Alliance I hereby wish to move a motion without notice, the Council should note that:
- Since the 1960’s, Helenvale and Gelvandale have been renowned for their high levels of violent crimes and gangsterism due to the social ills of the community. These residents were forced by the group areas act to live in overcrowded and squalid conditions. The area is plagued with early school drop outs leaving most of the available workforce unskilled.
- There are currently 17 different gangs operating in the northern areas of which 8 have ties in operations in Helenvale and 9 in the Gelvandale area.
- Since 2008, a new phase broke out – shooting to fight; guns have become easily accessible and there are people renting out guns to participate in gang-related crimes and then return them after use.
- This year alone, a total of 23 innocent community members and 4 children were killed by stray bullets.
- The SAPS has very limited resources; they are not fully equipped to root out crime.
- The court must be targeted to ensure that the perpetrators with serious outstanding cases remain in jail and are not easily granted bail.
In order to assist the SAPS, the community has embarked on sector patrols. This is very helpful, but it has its own challenges because community members are not equipped to deal with altercations involving firearms.
We need more technological resources for our local police stations in order to improve communication and we need policemen who are committed to cutting out crime.
The MEC, Honourable Wezile Tikana, and the provincial commissioner must equip the Gelvandale police station with the full complement of staff as well as vehicles; they must disregard the RAG system – we need more visible policing within the area.
The previous MEC, Honourable Helen Saul-August, had promised to build an additional police station in the Bethelsdorp area; the current MEC must follow through on this promise.
We cannot afford to lose any more lives.
Marshall von Buchenroder, MPL
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