North West SAPS spends R54 million a year on rent for dilapidated buildings

News Politics

Tebogo Msimanga |

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the North West Legislature says it is concerned about the state of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in North West, especially considering the state of buildings that the police operate in.

DA Spokesperson on Community Safety and Transport Management Freddy Sonakile said of 148 buildings occupied by the SAPS in the North West, 64 are leased, and 84 are state-owned. Of those buildings, only 73 are in good condition to support the various functions of the police.

“The SAPS in North West spends about R54 million a year on the leased properties, of which 35 are substandard. Thirty-nine of the state-owned properties are also in substandard condition”.

Sonakile said this was revealed by the MEC for Community Safety and Transport, Sello Lehari, in a tabled response to a question posed by the Democratic Alliance during a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Community Safety.

“This revelation comes at a time when the province is experiencing a substantial rise in violent crime, as seen in the First Quarter 2022 provincial crime statistics, which saw an increase of 22.3% in murder, 12.1% increase in sexual assault and 30.8% increase in assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm”.

Sonakile added that the Tlhabane Police Station in Rustenburg is one of the leased properties in a deplorable state, yet the rental costs the SAPS R192,366.06 per month.

The DA said it will engage the North West Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, the National Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, and the Department of Public Works to urgently review the lease of dilapidated properties.

Sonakile concluded by saying the police will never win the fight against crime in North West if they do not have the necessary resources to support their efforts, like adequate buildings, access to operational vehicles, and sufficient staffing.

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