2000

UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE


SAPS BUDGET

MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY ANNELIZÉ VAN WYK, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SAFETY AND SECURITY

The discussion tomorrow of the SAPS budget will undoubtedly elicit a wide variety of political opinion.

One of the opinions that will be expressed is that we need a larger Police Service under the current circumstances. We agree that there are too few SAPS members on the ground actually fighting crime, but simply calling for more appointments ignores the crux of the problem: SAPS is top-heavy, a case of too many Chiefs and too few Indians. An audit of what the actual staff requirements of the SAPS are should be undertaken. Members within the SAPS in administration should accordingly by redeployed to strengthen the actual crime-fighting ability.

The UDM would even argue that an immediate and effective solution would be a "small" but professional Police force with higher salaries and one goal: fighting crime. To achieve this the Minister of Safety and Security should consider placing members of the SAPS, directly involved in crime-fighting, on a separate salary system than the rest of the Public Sector, to allow for
better salaries. Tax Relief packages for SAPS members would also be a valuable contribution to efforts to improve the morale and salaries of SAPS members.

Another heated topic of discussion to be expected during the SAPS budget debate is the Firearms Control Bill, which the UDM supports in principle. Having said that, Government is not helping its own cause when SAPS members lose nearly two thousand firearms in a year. The Minister has also admitted, in response to a UDM question, that Government has only 4% of its weapons reflected on the Central Firearms Register, and that literally tens of thousands of Government firearms are floating unaccounted in our society with as many as three firearms possibly registered on the same number.

The UDM supports the responsible ownership and use of firearms, Government should get its own house in order if it wants to convince citizens that it is not prosecuting them unduly and exclusively with the new legislation.

Enquiries:
Annelizé van Wyk, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON: SAFETY AND SECURITY

Cape Town
17 May 2000