ANC government under fire for failing to curb crime in KZN

The DA in KwaZulu-Natal has criticised the ANC government, accusing it of neglecting the safety and security of residents.

Laying bare the ANC’s shortcomings, DA leader in the provincial legislature Francois Rodgers highlighted a slew of unfulfilled promises and escalating crime rates.

Key among these was the province’s department of public works’ failure to address dilapidated government-owned buildings, which have now become havens for criminals.

Rodgers asserted that the police and government officials, including Police Minister Bheki Cele and premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube, had failed to deliver on promises to enhance safety measures for women and children.

Last week, Cele released crime statistics which revealed that KwaZulu-Natal is the country’s rape capital, with 895 women murdered and 293 children killed in the three months between April and June.

This pointed to a 4.7% increase in women’s murders and a shocking 20.6% increase in child murders from the previous year.

Attempted murders of women and children saw similar alarming increases.

Rodgers emphasized that these statistics present a grim reality.

Moreover, he criticized the ANC government for its failure to implement initiatives to counter political assassinations, tackle truck burnings, and curb criminal activities orchestrated by mafia-like groups.

He indicated that the lack of functioning CCTV cameras and delayed roll-out of body-worn cameras for law-enforcement officers also raises concern about government’s commitment to public safety.

Rodgers lambasted the ANC for “negotiating with criminals” and called for stronger action, citing the DA-led City of Cape Town’s handling of a recent taxi strike as an example to follow.

“If these statistics do not galvanize government to act, then nothing ever will. In KZN, it is clear that we can no longer wait for this Taliban faction [of the] ANC-run government to save our province – and its people – from this never-ending onslaught,” he said.

“Crime is out of control and has the ability to devastate our province. We must act.”

The DA’s critique follows closely on the heels of Cele’s address on crime in the province.

Speaking during the launch of Operation Shanela, a multi-disciplinary crime-prevention operation in Durban on Saturday, Cele urged police to enforce the law.

“Your job is to be an asset, not to be a liability to the people of this country,” the minister said, warning SAPS [South African Police Service] members to focus on protecting communities and to refrain from engaging in criminal activities.

Cele commended community structures that continue to fight crime in collaboration with police, revealing that for the first time a budget of R70-million has been set aside to assist community policing forums.

“It is true. If we do not work with communities, we are not going to win the war,” Cele said.

Closing his address with a plea, the minister urged the police to work diligently to ensure that all citizens feel safe and secure. He also condemned the rampant killings, particularly of women by men.

 “I am making a clarion call. You go out and protect the people of this city, of this province, and of this country. Be the assets, be good to them.

“I would love all of us to create a community where a young woman, in the middle of the night, can walk alone without the fear of being attacked or raped by any man.”


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