Possible R6bn budget cut for SAPS will cost lives – Andrew Whitfiled

DA MP says police are already grossly under-funded, under-resourced, under-staffed and under-equipped

Possible R6 billion budget cut for SAPS will cost lives

18 July 2019

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is deeply concerned that National Police Commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, has received a request from National Treasury that the South African Police Service (SAPS) cut their budget by R6 billion.

If true, this would be disastrous for SAPS, which is already grossly under-funded, under-resourced, under-staffed and under-equipped. Any further budget cuts will only worsen these conditions, leaving citizens to pay with their lives.

We will write to National Treasury to request that they urgently provide clarity on the matter of potential budget cuts for SAPS.

The fiscus is in deep trouble due to rampant corruption and low growth, but the answer to these problems should not be to cut funding to a critical department like SAPS, especially at a time when our communities have become war zones.

Budget shortfalls should be addressed by cutting Ministerial extravagance. National Treasury should begin by cutting VIP spending instead. As it stands, South Africans pay R10 million to protect just one VIP. Moreover, each of the 28 Ministers is allocated almost R4 million per year for 3 new vehicles.

Given our current state of crime, the DA proposes that an additional R2 billion be allocated towards fighting crime by:

Increasing IPID’s budget by R200 million; and,

Increasing Visible Police budget by R1.8 billion.

This is a budget neutral proposal which can be achieved within the current budget by reducing the budget for VIP Security by R2 billion.

The DA will continue to push for government to get their priorities right, cut extravagant expenditure and focus on keeping South Africans safe. Without an honest and professional police service, which is well resourced and well-capacitated, our citizens will undoubtedly pay for this decision with their blood.

The cut in the SAPS budget will undermine all efforts to keep the people of South Africa safe. The proposed cut will hand South Africa over to criminals.

Issued by Andrew Whitfield, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 18 July 2019