Overhaul of Khayelitsha policing to begin

The strategy will include tackling some of the social problems plaguing the township.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato. Picture: Gadeeja Abbas/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - An overhaul of policing in Khayelitsha will begin by tackling some of the social problems plaguing the township.

A commission of inquiry - which has probed allegations of police inefficiencies at the three police stations in the area - concluded its work last month.

Western Cape Premier Helen Zille established the commission in 2012 amid complaints about police inefficiency in Khayelitsha.

The commission made recommendation which included mending relations between Khayelitsha residents and police.

Dozens of alleged criminals have been killed in vigilante attacks in Khayelitsha, mainly because many residents don't trust police.

The Western Cape Community Safety Department says one of its focuses will be clamping down on the more than 1,400 illegal shebeens in the township.

It's also announced a multi-sectoral task team will deal with the emerging youth gangs in Khayelitsha, which was cited as a problem by the Commission of Inquiry.

MEC Dan Plato believes involving the community is key to solving these issues.

Plato says he's confident his department will be able to meet some of the deadlines outlined in the commission's recommendations report.

But he could not say exactly when these task teams would be able to begin with their work.

He said his department would work closely with the national and provincial South African Police Service to improve services at the three police stations in the community.

The almost 600-page document makes 20 key recommendations, including a strategic review of detective services by the provincial police commissioner.

It stated that factors contributing to police management's failure to address inefficiencies at Khayelitsha's three police stations included weak human resources systems, a lack of a strategic management plan and information technology not being used optimally.