Bheki Cele: We anticipate speedy action – POPCRU

Union says some ministers inherit ministries which are faced with multiple challenges

POPCRU statement on ministerial appointments

27 February 2018

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) welcomes the ministerial appointments as announced by the state president Cyril Ramaphosa, which are aimed at ensuring the national government is better equipped to implement the mandate of the current administration with the conscious of renewal, continuity and stability.

We note that in his cabinet reshuffle last night, the president indicated that until such a time that the review of the configuration of the size and number of ministries and departments are concluded, he would retain the current ministries and departments.

We want to particularly welcome the appointed ministers who will be serving within the criminal justice cluster, namely the Minister of Police Bheki Cele, the Minister of transport Dr Blade Nzimande and Minister of State Security Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba.

Common among them is that they inherit ministries which are faced with multiple challenges that continue to hamper on service delivery and lack of credibility. It is within this context that we look forward to working with them in bringing the criminal justice cluster into a stable condition.

We would also like to thank the former police minister Fikile Mbalula for his continued efforts in engaging with stakeholders in finding solutions to the many challenges relating to police killings, their conditions of service and commitments to making our communities safer. With the limited time that he has been at the helm, practical steps were taken in the right direction.

We note that the new police minister is not necessarily new in this terrain as he has served at an operational level. With his previous experience, we are surely anticipating speedy action into effecting the restructuring process which should, amongst other things, trim the top-heavy management at both head office and provincial offices, and ensure that manpower is beefed up at station level. This should be done through proper collective bargaining channels.

We are confident that he will also look closer into curbing the continued senseless police killings that have marred our country.

With the many challenges faced by our transport system, the need to build an inclusive public transportation infrastructure that addresses issues of poverty, access and inequality is something that our country urgently needs, and its provision remains one of the fundamental prerequisites for socio-economic advancement of our population.

Capable as he is, minister Nzimande has a huge task of bringing the fragmented traffic department under one control.

The fragmentation of the Traffic law enforcement and reduction of carnages on our roads and the negative impact they have had on the economy, the loss of life and the failure to effectively enforce traffic law remains a long outstanding challenge that requires immediate attention.

We encourage the minister to start by ensuring there is a single traffic law enforcement within his department, conditions of service are harmonised and standardised, and to decisively deal with the fragmentation of traffic, with a view of ensuring safer roads.

With the recent direct attacks on state apparatuses in the form of police, we are hopeful that the Minister Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba will be playing an active role into, among others, investigating these emerging trends and acting swiftly in prioritising preventative measures.

We commit ourselves to work closely with and support these ministries in taking the criminal justice cluster and South Africa forward.

Issued by Richard Mamabolo, Media and communications officer, POPCRU, 27 February 2018