We have gathered here today because crime in the Northern Cape is out of control.
Here, especially in Galeshewe, criminals are controlling our communities.
In fact, Galeshewe is placed in the worst ten precincts in the province for crime for most crime categories:
- Galeshewe is in the top five for murder and attempted murder;
- It is number one for assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm;
- It’s number two for common assault;
- It’s number three for common robbery;
- It’s number two for robbery with aggravating circumstances;
- It’s number two for burglary at residential properties;
- It is in the top 10 for theft of motor vehicles and theft out of motor vehicles;
- It is also number two for sexual offences.
In fact, just last week I highlighted the high rate of rape in the greater Kimberley area. In this regard Kimberley, Roodepan and Galeshewe account for over 40% of the total annual rape cases in the entire province.
Aside from the above mentioned disturbing rankings, Galeshewe also has a growing drug problem. In fact, our ward candidate for this area, Catherine Du Plessis can attest to this. She herself is trying to garner some kind of action from the authorities to deal with a drug passage not far from here, where young people buy, sell and use drugs on a daily basis, further fuelling crime in this area.
In short, Galeshewe has become a crime nest. It is a haven and a playground for criminals and the fear instilled by high levels of crime, is dictating peoples’ everyday lives.
Unfortunately, the police don’t have a grip on this situation and its no wonder that mothers sleep with one eye open and one eye closed, and with pots of boiling water on the stove to fend off would be intruders. And that those who can afford it, have installed fencing and alarms.
But is shouldn’t be like this - everyone deserves to feel safe in their own homes. Our homes are meant to be places of peace and refuge, not fortresses to fend off crime.
The DA believes that crime can be fought by creating an honest and professional police service, which keeps our communities safe and restores order.
Our plan for an honest and professional police service centres around four critical elements:
Undeniably, however, we need a more effective and responsive police force. We need more resources, like patrol vehicles, and we need more police officers. We also need better equipped and qualified police officers.
While combatting crime must be the main responsibility of the police, it is not their responsibility alone. Instead, we need a whole of society approach if we are to effectively banish crime from our communities once and for all.
In this regard, the DA last week wrote to Provincial Police Commissioner, Rismati Shivuri, in conjunction with the MEC of Transport, Safety & Liaison, Lebogang Motlhaping and the Mayor of Sol Plaatje municipality, Patrick Mabilo, to appeal to them to work together to isolate and target areas in and around the city, where incidents of rape are particularly high.
But we need to work together to fight all forms of crime, not just rape.
If the DA pushes the ANC to under 50% at tomorrow’s by-elections and becomes the anchor tenant in a coalition government that will take over Sol Plaatje, the DA will use this local government platform to prioritise safety initiatives in Galeshewe and the greater Kimberley area.
In respect of crime, the DA will:
- Prioritise public lighting in areas that are poorly lit and prone to crime, and upgrade playgrounds, parks and open spaces, by cutting away long grass and tree branches and break down derelict buildings that are used as cover for rapists. Crime hot spot areas will be prioritised.
- Develop a relationship with, accrediting and capacitating neighbourhood watch groups as partners in fighting crime;
- We will also start the process of negotiations for the establishment of a Municipal Court. Without this, our currently overburdened Magistrates Courts will not be able to enforce by-laws so that there can be consequence management for crime fuelling transgressions, such as drinking on the streets.
- We will also prioritise the training of currently employed municipal law enforcement officers, who are currently non-operational, so that they can police the local by-laws.
- At the same time, we will employ more municipal law enforcement officers to make sure public safety is improved, also placing community safety kiosks in key areas.
- We will also establish local drug action committees, bringing together government, NGOs, religious groups and communities to reduce the supply and demand for drugs and addressing other safety issues.
- These are just some of the practical things that the DA will do on a local government level to fight crime that affects our daily lives.
I therefore call on all residents of Ward 9, where we stand today, and residents from all other by-election wards, to support the DA at the ballot box tomorrow.
Lend us your vote so that we can put our plans into action and start the process of taking back our streets from the criminals who prey off others misfortune.
Only change under a DA-led government will see to it that we all work together to achieve safe and secure communities, where we no longer have to live under lock and key and where our children can once again play outside in the sunshine.