SJC: Safety of poor communities being overlooked by govt

Activists demonstrated outside the police's Western Cape headquarters in Green Point on Tuesday to oppose plans to construct a R100 million police station in Muizenberg.

The Social Justice Coalition demonstrated outside the police's Western Cape headquarters in Green Point on 11 April 2017 over plans to construct a R100 million police station in Muizenberg. Picture: Xolani Koyana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has accused government of prioritising the safety and security of affluent suburbs while poor communities are sidelined.

Activists demonstrated outside the police's Western Cape headquarters in Green Point on Tuesday to oppose plans to construct a R100 million police station in Muizenberg.

The coalition believes the funds could be better spent building stations in crime-stricken communities and boosting staff capacity.

The SJC has likened the police's resource allocations to an apartheid-era system where poor areas in need of more manpower get less than middle-class areas.

The organisation's Chumile Sali says the South African Police Service figures don't make sense.

“When you compare Muizenberg with Nyanga, for example, you’ll find there is one police officer for 150 residents in Muizenberg and 1 police officer for over 1,047 in Nyanga.”

The provincial commissioner's office says it is committed to ensure an equitable distribution of resources based on crime trends, spatial growth and development.

It has also announced planning is underway for new stations in Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Samora Machel.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)