Five years after the Khayelitsha commission of inquiry into policing released its findings and recommendations, the site where a police station was supposed to be built in Makhaza is still standing empty, GroundUp reports.
The site is overgrown with weeds and grass, and is strewn with rubbish.
Recommendation 19 (of 20 made by the commission) said a new police station should be built in Makhaza, which has been waiting for one since 2004.
Delivering his budget speech in Parliament in May 2018, Police Minister Bheki Cele said Makhaza would get a police station by 2022.
On Monday, to mark five years since the commission made its recommendations, the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) and Makhaza residents occupied the vacant site and started building a wall, using concrete bricks and cement, in the centre of the land.
SJC deputy general-secretary Mandisa Dyantyi said: “The three current police stations in Khayelitsha … are not enough to carry the burden of crime.”
‘Criminals we catch get away’
Dyantyi claimed the police ministry and the police were failing the vulnerable and poor.
Veronica Welem, a resident in the area since 1993 and a member of the Ikamva Lethu Neighbourhood Watch, said people had to pay R40 taxi fare to report crimes at Harare police station.
She added it was difficult for Harare police to service a big area like Makhaza on top of the other areas they have to patrol.
“We manage to catch the criminals at night [on patrols], but then we have to call Harare police station and on top of that we have to wait a while till they get to us. In many instances, the criminals we catch manage to get away,” said Welem.
The SJC has highlighted the need for visible policing, more human resources for police in the area, CCTV cameras, improved infrastructure and public lighting.
The police promised to respond to GroundUp on Monday.
Comment will be added when it is received.
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