The newly-established civic organisation, Cape Forum has voiced its support for policing powers to devolve to the Western Cape government
The provincial government has in recent years been calling for SAPS powers to be handed over to local officials alleging that national policing is failing to ensure residents’ safety.
“Even if, as a civil society organisation who speaks for communities, even if we want SAPS power to be devolved to the province, ultimately it is the people of the province who have to decide whether they support or don’t support it. We will then see if the support of the community’s Cape Forum is aiming to become the largest, if most relevant, civil society organisation,” says Heindrich Wyngaard, the Cape Forum’s Executive Chairperson.
Meanwhile, Police Minister Bheki Cele has criticised the Western Cape provincial government for its call of wanting to take control of the running of SAPS in the region, saying the province is wasting its time.
Cele says such devolution of power can only be passed through changes in the Constitution.
“The last call I read is that the provincial police must be given to the province, there is nothing called the provincial police, that’s why they are called South African Police Sevice. Don’t waste time and energy, let’s work on how to strengthen if there are weaknesses, so let’s work and move forward with the South African Police. You’ll have to change the Constitution, I don’t know how long it will take. For now, don’t waste time and energy, these people want to be safe, they don’t want labels,” says Cele.
VIDEO: Minister Cele addresses spate of mass killings in Khayelitsha, slams calls for provincial policing