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Metro police don't have the cars to fight crime

EMPD and TMPD say they do not have sufficient vehicles to fight crime and control protests

EMPD and TMPD say they do not have enough vehicles to fight crime and respond to protests.
EMPD and TMPD say they do not have enough vehicles to fight crime and respond to protests.
Image: Supplied

Two of the three metros in Gauteng have told the provincial legislature they are struggling with their vehicle fleet due to budget constraints, administrative delays and slow repair times.

Goodman Mzolo, deputy chief of police operations in the Ekurhuleni metro police department, told the portfolio community of community safety which sat in Melrose Arch on Tuesday that metro cops do not have enough vehicles to perform their duties.

“We don't have cars. In the previous financial year and even in the coming financial year of 2023/2024 there is no provision made for fleet. We are really struggling.

“Service turnaround of vehicles at the workshops is poor. We have internal workshops and external service providers who are poor.

“Unlicensed vehicles result in vehicles being grounded. We cannot use vehicles that are not licensed. If a vehicle has a fine in the area of Joburg, that fine must first be paid before the licence can be released.

The metro police departments from Joburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni presented their reports on what they are doing to fight crime, and the challenges they are experiencing.

Mzolo told the committee officers are forced to respond to service delivery protests driving unarmoured cars as there are not enough armoured vehicles. “When you go to service delivery protests, you cannot use 'soft vehicles'... we find ourselves using soft vehicles instead of armoured vehicles.”

The Ekurhuleni officers are also running short of bulletproof vests, he said.

On top of their supply constraints, Mzolo said officers are working long hours, resulting in fatigue.

Tshwane MPD listed similar problems.

Staff officer Sean Bolhuis said its fleet “does not look good”.

Bolhuis said TMPD has 61 leased vehicles and 697 owned by the city but only 447 are functioning.

A total of 311 vehicles are not operating due to breakdowns, accidents and nonpayment of service providers, Bolhuis said.

He said TMPD has 203 support staff and 3,855 operational officers.

TimesLIVE


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