Focus on crime, poverty

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

President Thabo Mbeki will act on crime, poverty, service delivery, education and HIV-Aids.

In his state of the nation speech on Friday, Mbeki gave details of plans he will undertake in his last two years as president. But he also called on citizens to roll up their sleeves and help the government.

The number of police officers will be increased from 152000 to more than 180000 within three years. Greater use will be made of high-tech computer systems to monitor police at police stations. The police will have to improve their analysis of crime trends to improve the prevention of crime.

The Scorpions will be beefed up to help fight crime.

Forensic laboratories will be equipped with the latest technology and proper use will be made of the fingerprint database because "many of the recent successes in solving serious crime incidents have been facilitated by these systems".

Vacancies in the Department of Home Affairs will be filled and a task team will help it to improve efficiency.

South Africa's intelligence service will have to "intensify" its work and to build on its achievements over the last few months to deal with cash-in-transit heists, drug trafficking and game and abalone poaching.

The service will be monitored to operate within the constitution. This was a clear reference to last year's discovery that senior spies were involved in illegal operations about the succession battle.

The courts will be further overhauled to improve management and prosecutions and to "massively" reduce case backlogs.

More prisons will be built and action will be taken to deal with the scourge of drugs and gangsterism.

The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (AsgiSA) will continue to ensure investment, job creation, skills development and improving the skills of civil servants.

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