JULY 8, 2016

This week I have traveled around the City of Tshwane, hearing how people no longer feel safe in their homes, on the streets or at work. The fact is that the people in Tshwane do not feel safe because the ANC government has failed to prioritise their safety. Crime is rising because the ANC has failed to hear the people of Tshwane and take up the call to protect and secure our citizens.

Crime affects each and every one of us every day. The fear of crime crosses all racial, gender and social lines; it does not discriminate. For too long the people of our Capital have been living in fear.

Yet this week I have seen how Tshwane Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) officers have been taken off the streets to protect Zuma’s imposed candidate, Thoko Didza, while neglecting the people of Tshwane. It cannot be that the safety of some well-connected people is put above the safety of the people of this City.

The TMPD is not fulfilling its mandate to secure the City, and suffers from a slew of problems. It is massively corrupt, has a vacancy rate of 48%, but still manages to spend 78% of their budget on salaries while half of new recruits do not have bullet proof vests, supposedly because there is no money to buy them. This is unacceptable.

While the SAPS is under the control of the National Government, the metro police is not. The government of this City has the power to make a difference and reduce crime. The problems with the TMPD can be traced directly back to the problems of the ANC government in Tshwane.

The ANC of today is characterised by factionalism, patronage and corruption. The ANC in this City is more divided than ever. It is a broken party, and a broken party cannot run this City. It cannot stop corruption, it cannot create jobs, it cannot deliver the services people need, and it cannot make the City safer.

Didiza will come to Tshwane as a lame-duck mayor who will spend more time putting out fires within her own party than dealing with the many fires that burn across our City.

Didiza will not bring change to Tshwane because she is just a new head for the same ANC body – a body infected by the cancer of corruption; a body that has been broken by infighting.

But we do not have to accept this. The people of Tshwane deserve to feel safe and the DA has a plan to make this happen.

Fighting crime is a matter of political will and the prioritisation of resources to make sure we achieve the best outcomes and reduce crime.

A DA government in Tshwane will take the following steps to make sure the people of this city are and feel safe:

  • We will properly equip Metro Police officers and Emergency Services to better fight crime, including making sure that response vehicles which have broken down or have been involved in accidents are quickly repaired.
  • We will establish a specialised narcotics unit within the TMPD to crack down on drug dealers and to make sure our children do not have their futures stolen by addiction.
  • And we will appoint a qualified and experienced police officer as the Chief of the TMPD. The Chief’s example will inspire discipline and duty among ordinary Metro Police officers.
  • We will work with private companies who already work to fight crime, thereby pooling resources, intelligence and experience that will lead to a greater reduction of crime.
  • We have the power to reduce crime.

We have the power to take back our streets from criminals and drug peddlers.

We have the power to make the people of Tshwane feel safe again.

On 3 August the people of Tshwane can vote in an honest and responsive DA government that will fight for the safety, security and freedom of the people of Tshwane.

Together we can bring the change the Capital city needs and deserves.

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