Government strengthens efforts to combat economic sabotage

The police have established 20 economic infrastructure task teams throughout the country with the aim of strengthening efforts to combat economic sabotage.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa during his oral reply to questions in the National Council of Provinces in Cape Town on Thursday afternoon.

The president also touch on key developments in the country.

“Of these [task teams], 18 have been established at district level and two at provincial level,” Ramaphosa said.

“A total of 946 personnel have been allocated to the 20 economic infrastructure task teams from existing structures within each province, district and station.

“They are experienced and knowledgeable personnel within their respective functional environments.

“The task teams integrate processes, resources and intelligence across all of the operational environments of the SAPS [SA Police Service] under a single command.”

Furthermore, the president said this exercise will enable government to successfully combat essential infrastructure crimes, illicit mining, and extortion within the country’s construction sector.

The task teams incorporate personnel from the police’s divisions such as crime intelligence, visible policing and operations, detective and forensic services, as well as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.  

“They also work with other role-players on an ad hoc basis. These include the National Prosecuting Authority, Financial Intelligence Centre, relevant government departments, national intelligence coordinating committee, and South African Revenue Service.

He added that the task teams will also work with state-owned entities such as Transnet, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, Eskom, and other industry stakeholders.

“Various resources such as vehicles, cellphones, notebooks and radios have been sourced from the existing capacity at provincial, district and station levels,” said the president.

In a separate matter, the government extended its condolences to all the victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This follows an escalation of hostilities at the weekend that left thousands of people dead and wounded.

Ramaphosa has called for immediate and unconditional opening of humanitarian corridors.
“Our thoughts are with all the victims’ families and loved ones during this perilous period of fighting,” he said in a statement dated Thursday.

“We remain gravely concerned at the devastating escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the atrocities committed against civilian populations.”

The president called for the immediate cessation of violence and the exercise of restraint.

“It is vital that all those who require urgent humanitarian assistance are provided with basic life-supporting necessities and that human suffering is ameliorated.”

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