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Cosatu protest against high crime rates in Cape Town misguided, says Alan Winde

Western Cape premier Alan Winde says engaging with President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele is preferable to protesting.
Western Cape premier Alan Winde says engaging with President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele is preferable to protesting.
Image: Trevor Samson

Western Cape premier Alan Winde has lamented the Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) strike in Cape Town, describing it as misguided.

Cosatu organised a march to the offices of the mayor and provincial legislature to hand over a list of demands. They included an end to gang violence in communities, responsive government that listens to all its people and an end to corruption.

Marchers demanded that police stations and station commanders be evaluated by communities and called for adequate public safety at railway stations.

Winde said the strike was not a solution.

“Cosatu’s protest against high crime rates in Cape Town is misguided. It is safe to say all law-abiding Western Cape residents, including the government, are fed up with high crime rates and are tired of living in fear,” he said. 

“But staging a protest and strike to draw attention to this issue is not the way to go.” 

Winde said the protest comes at the time when the province desperately needs to jump-start the economy and create jobs after Covid-19. 

He said the Western Cape government is taking money from its budget to address issues such as gang violence and gender-based violence. 

 “Our safety plan is based on a scientific approach to addressing crime, while our law-enforcement advancement plan is a 'force multiplier' on the ground, helping other law-enforcement agencies, especially the SA Police Service, which has all the government money to fight crime, to keep our communities safe,” said Winde. 

“We should rather seek to engage President Cyril Ramaphosa and police minister Bheki Cele together to constructively raise our concerns and put solutions on the table.”

Cele said he understood the complaints regarding police resources and thousands more officers will be deployed in December. 

“On the question of resources, we definitely agree with you. In 2010 we had 195,000 police. Today we have 176,000. We are 20,000 down.

“At the moment we have 10,000 trainees that we recruited this year. They will be out on December 15. We will be able to unleash 10,000 new police officers in SA. Next year we'll get another 10,000, then we will have 20,000 in two years. We still have a long way to go,” said Cele.


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