NEWS & ANALYSIS

MEC must urgently restore calm as Jozini enters day four of lockdown – DA KZN

Sharon Hoosen says situation is direct result of community anger towards SAPS officers based in the town

DA calls on MEC to urgently restore calm as Jozini enters day four of lockdown

11 March 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in KwaZulu-Natal today calls on KZN Community Safety MEC, Bheki Ntuli, to urgently restore calm to Jozini as the town enters day four of lockdown.

The current situation within Jozini – where access is prohibited in and out of the town - is a direct result of community anger towards South African Police Service (SAPS) officers based in the town.

The 2019 Crime Statistics for KwaZulu-Natal showed that carjacking increased by 200% in Jozini. Yet to date, SAPS has allegedly done little to curb this spike which has now led to major protest action and violence by this community. To make matters worse, there are also claims that some SAPS officers are colluding with criminals when it comes to carjackings in the area.

Despite this situation, there have, to date, been no interventions or strategies suggested by either the Provincial Police Commissioner, KhombinkosiJula or the MEC to target and reduce criminal activity in this area.

This is indicative of the poor track record for service delivery by the province’s ANC-led government, where simple solutions are not implemented to keep communities safe.

Most of these stolen vehicles end up across the border in Mozambique. Yet, despite this, MEC Ntuli has also done nothing to ensure that the ‘Jersey Barriers’, manufactured specifically to prevent this type of crime, are erected as a matter of urgency. Instead, they are still lying uninstalled at the border.

In the event that this cross-border security project been treated as a priority, it is highly likely that the current community protest action could have been avoided.

Crime statistics can also no longer be seen as a ‘tick box’ exercise. They must be used as a guide to direct key resources, including more officers, specialised units, vehicles and tools of trade to where they are needed most. Meanwhile, corrupt police officers should be in jail, not being paid for their actions.

The people of Jozini are understandably frustrated by the lack of support they are receiving from SAPS. While the DA sympathises with their plight, we cannot have our municipalities being brought to a standstill. Nor can we allow the current lawlessness which affects all community members.

The DA expects MEC Ntuli to act urgently to restore calm and safety back to Jozini and to implement key strategies to keep communities safe and reduce the increase in protests throughout the province.

Issued by Sharon Hoosen,DA KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety and Liaison, 11 March 2020