RELEASE ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON ON SAFETY AND SECURITY
UDM welcomes the realisation by Minster Tshwete that the police are indeed short
staffed in the face of the enormous challenge of crime prevention that faces our
nation. This represents a watershed in thinking and insights for the government
that until now has preached the need for a smaller police force to combat a
growing crime wave.
We do however believe that the minister has only started to understand the need
for more police officers. The UDM still advocates as per our election manifesto
an increase of 42 000 police constables to ensure visible and effective policing
and crime prevention.
It is unbelievable that in the area of safety and security which is one of the
basic constitutionally obligated responsibilities of government, that the
private sector employs thousands of guards and spends billions of Rands. Equally
concerning is that this private industry is largely unregulated and
The Minister's admission of a shortage of staff also reflects on Commissioner
Selebi's insistence that communities in Johannesburg cannot pay reservists as
their own bobbies-on-the-beat. Clearly, these communities are committed to the
fight against crime, have realised the shortage of police officers, and are
willing to pay from their own pockets, in spite of having to pay taxes to
Government to maintain a Police Force.
We call on Minister Tshwete to act on his admission, and appoint more police
officers since that is the only long term solution to crime, whilst anti-crime
blitzes are impressive such actions will at most only encourage criminals to
move to new areas and target new victims.
Annelizé van Wyk
UDM Spokesperson on Safety and Security
12 April 2000