WC govt to intensify oversight over police

Helen Zille said the WC govt will extend the Watching Briefs to 25 courts in the coming year.

Premier Helen Zille delivered her State of the Province Address at the Western Cape Legislature on 19 February 2016. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape government wants to intensify its oversight role over the police.

Premier Helen Zille made the announcement during her State of the Province Address (Sopa) on Friday.

The Community Safety department launched the Watching Briefs a few years ago to identify and fix systematic weaknesses within the police service.

Premier Helen Zille said the provincial government will extend the Watching Briefs to 25 courts in the coming year.

She said over the past year, department officials followed 28 court cases where there was evidence of police inefficiencies.

"Such inefficiencies were, for example, nine cases of dockets not being available, 19 cases of failure of investigating officer to timeously conclude the investigation and various others."

She said as a result of Watching Briefs, eight police officers are being disciplined by South African Police Services management for failing to do their job properly.

Zille claimed since the Democratic Alliance (DA) took control of the Western Cape in 2009, the provincial government has created more than 200,000 job opportunities.

She said more jobs will be added through Project Khulisa, a provincial initiative aimed at speeding up economic growth through tourism and agriculture.

"The Tourism Sector today employs 200,000 people, with a Gross Value Add (GVA) o f R17 billion to the provincial economy. Project Khulisa aims to add a further 120,000 jobs by 2019 under a high-growth scenario, increasing GVA by 65 percent to R28 billion."

The premier said a further 100,000 jobs will come through agri-processing ventures with the potential to increase the GVA to R26 billion a year.

@helenzille announces major economic progress in the WC #GameChanger #WCSOPA pic.twitter.com/CDBkSbFcZE


Opposition parties in the Western Cape Legislature say they're disappointed by the premier's Sopa, saying it failed to address the housing crisis.

Zille announced plans to build more than 3,000 residential units, business premises and schools in Pinelands.

"The site is 22 hectares in size, and is adjacent to the suburbs of Pinelands and Thornton, and surrounded by access to good public transport."

But African National Congress (ANC) caucus leader Khaya Magaxa said the provincial government has been lowering its housing targets.

"It's at the lowest now. It doesn't even comes close to the ANC target when we were in charge of this province. Every year we when we were in charge, we were improving our targets, each and every year."

The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP)'s Ferlon Christians said Zille should provide full details of the province's plans.

"Be honest with people and frank with them. Tell them that we need to assist you and 3,000 houses are too little as the backlog is too long."

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MPL Bernard Joseph described the announcement as a "joke".

"She is doing this for political reasons for the 2016 elections. At an informal settlements in town, they can't even provide services to the informal settlement behind a nice hotel."