NOTES: City sells Khayelitsha land for Mall instead of SAPS Station

ACDP REJECTS SALE OF KHAYELITSHA LAND FOR SHOPPING MALL:

  • Expanding the current SAPS station is a far bigger priority.
  • The City again undermines WC Government. Two DA governments are working against each other.
  • City again favours private developers over safety and security of residents.
  • City determined to ignore Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry findings and recommendations.

“The City has a history of making decisions that go against what the WC Government is planning.

For example:  In terms of its current Green Paper on “Reducing Alcohol Harms”, the WCG aims to reduce the negative impact of alcohol on society by limiting its availability (in terms of hours of trade and days of trade, as well as addressing the number of legal and illegal outlets, etc.  Yet the City approves most (if not all) applications it receives for increased hours and days of trade – with clearly no thought given to the WC Government Green Paper.

This DA proposal to council today, to sell Council owned land in Khayelitsha (with an under-resourced police station next door) to a private developer to build a shopping mall, is another example of the same. Clearly the two DA governments disagree with each other and are working against each other.

The long, expensive and recently concluded Khayelitsha Commission of Enquiry (into policing in Khayelitsha) made its findings and recommendations. Primarily it recommended that the infrastructure of the Lingelethu West police station, already located on this land, be upgraded.  In all it made around 30 recommendations, all of which would be served by expanding the police station.

Yet in terms of the report to council, it should be noted that the WC Dept of Community Safety (Dan Plato as MEC) and the Provincial Police Ombudsman Adv. Vusi Pikoli have not commented and likely were not asked to comment on this proposal.

In the report, the National Dept: Public Works commented that a SAPS station is needed but cannot be effective in a shopping mall.

The ACDP agrees with the Dept: Public Works that the land should not be sold to build a shopping mall, rather that it be retained for SAPS to expand the existing police station and to improve policing infrastructure in Khayelitsha.

In particular, these recommendations of the Khayelitsha Commission of Enquiry are pertinent to this land:

  • Every police station in Khayelitsha should form an agreement with residents guaranteeing minim policing levels, what is a reasonable response time, and what residents can expect from them.
  • The number of detectives serving in Khayelitsha needs to be increased.
  • SAPS station management should be responsible for resolving identified inefficiencies.
  • Urgently meet with the City of Cape Town, Metro Police and management of SAPS in Khayelitsha on the best way to use CCTV cameras in the area.

The rest of the Commission’s recommendations, that will also be met, are:

  • Police should treat residents with respect.
  • The establishment of a monitoring team made up of senior police officers and civilians.
  • Detectives need to be better trained in the needs of the judicial system when trying cases.
  • SAPS management needs to ensure informal settlements are patrolled.
  • Crime statistics should be published on a monthly basis at police stations.
  • A forum should be established to resolve disputes with police.
  • Police Reservists need to be recruited for policing the area as soon as possible.
  • All members of SAPS serving in Khayelitsha should be able to speak Xhosa.
  • Police officers should be appropriately disciplined for criminal or negligent behaviour.
  • Recruitment of police officers should be improved.
  • Levels of resident satisfaction should be included as when monitoring police performance.
  • Vigilante killings must be recorded as a category of crime.
  • A co-ordinated approach to dealing with youth gangs in the area.
  • More research on community views on unlicensed liquor sales in the area.
  • Train officers in how to deal with domestic violence and more research into the dynamics of domestic violence in the community.
  • Setup of a task team to more effectively deploy and integrate information technology by the police.
  • Expand internal investigations beyond just the police station level.
  • Expanding the role of the Civilian Secretariat at national and provincial level in monitoring the work of the police.
  • Signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Western Cape Department of Community Safety and SAPS to continue its oversight of the police.
  • Improvement of the infrastructure of the Lingelethu West police station.
  • Urgently complete the establishment of a fourth police station at Makhaza staffed with additional police and not police redeployed from elsewhere in Khayelitsha.
  • Urgently resolve the issue of chronic police understaffing.
  • The problem of backlogs in the analysis of forensic samples should be drawn to the attention of the Premier, so that it can be fixed.
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