Minister allocates R2.7bn to fight crime

Mamabolo doubles Gauteng community safety budget

A briefing about corruption in testing stations by MEC of transport in Gauteng Jacob Mamabolo at Centurion DLTC Launch.
A briefing about corruption in testing stations by MEC of transport in Gauteng Jacob Mamabolo at Centurion DLTC Launch.
Image: Maribe Trevor Mokgobu

The Gauteng department of community safety's budget has been doubled in line with premier Panyaza Lesufi’s bold plan to use technology to fight crime.

Finance MEC Jacob Mamabolo on Thursday allocated R2.7bn to the department, which had received R1.3bn in the previous financial year.

A huge chunk of this budget – R1.4bn – will go towards the 6,000 crime prevention wardens that were announced by Panyaza during his state of the province address last month.

Tabling the R158bn provincial budget, Mamabolo said fighting crime was the province’s apex priority, adding that the Treasury had “aggressively” moved to confront this challenge with the urgency it deserved.

“The R4bn additional allocation over the medium-term expenditure framework [allocation over three years] is for the training and absorption of the 6,000 crime prevention wardens currently undergoing training that is scheduled to conclude at the end of April 2023.

“In addition to capacitating these crime prevention wardens with the necessary tools of trade, the resource allocation will also enable the acquisition of technological solutions to fight crime such as drones and the leasing of helicopters to enhance visibility of crime prevention efforts. Also included in this allocation is funding to fleet services to further capacitate traffic police to undertake their duties,” Mamabolo said.

For the installation of CCTVs in the province, R50m has been budgeted for, while R31.4m has been allocated for the procurement of drones.

While the community safety’s budget has increased by a staggering 93% for the 2023/2024 financial year, the department of health, roads and transport and human settlements have decreased by 2%, 1% and 3%, respectively.

On this, Mamabolo said money was being directed to departments that spend their budget.

“We’re not throwing money at problems. We’re saying to departments, approach us if your projects are ready. Government makes provisions for adjustments of budgets. The money is not taken away but we don’t want to increase money of departments when they don’t spend.

“The principle we’re making here, let’s see value for money, compliance, let’s see procurement plans and let’s see your business plan,” Mamabolo said.

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