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SJC: WC not only province battling with police resources

The Western Cape Community Safety Department wants to take the Police Minister to task over the issue. It declared a formal dispute with the ministry, arguing that the Cape has too few officers.

FILE: Police search a member of the public. Picture: SAPS

CAPE TOWN – A Cape Town-based activist group said that the Western Cape was not the only province struggling with an unfair distribution of policing resources.

The Western Cape Community Safety Department wants to take the Police Minister to task over the issue. It declared a formal dispute with the ministry, arguing that the Cape has too few officers.

Social Justice Coalition's Axolile Notywala said the distribution of police resources across the country discriminates on the basis of race and poverty.

"We looked at the Western Cape and we looked at KZN and other provinces and it is the same trend - Umlazi has fewer police resources than the urban and white areas. Areas in Gauteng... the townships have less resources."

Police Minister Bheki Cele has responded, saying he spoke to many citizens who do not feel that there are inadequate resources.

"I'm not denying those citizens that are saying so but I've met a lot of citizens that are not making the same call. We need to improve police, nobody is denying that, in terms of personnel, in terms of equipment, training."

Notywala said that the appropriate ratio of people to one police officer is 300.

This was not the case in poverty-stricken areas.

"And what we know, is that on average, that's not the case in places such as Khayelitsha."

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