Police Minister, Bheki Cele takes his annual Safer Festive Season Inspection Tour to the Eastern Cape on Wednesday.

The visit forms part of efforts by the South African Police Service (SAPS) to tighten the grip on crime this festive season.

He will be accompanied by top management of the SAPS.

EC Police Spokesperson, Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana says: “As part of his day long program the minister will start by inspecting and motivating an integration of security forces in a big parade that will be held at the 10111 centre in Nelson Mandela Metro.”

“He will also visit some roadblocks and some taverns around the Nelson Mandela Metro.”

On Monday Cele repeated his call for police to take a hard line against crime. Cele was in the Northern Cape to launch the Safer Festive Season campaign.

In this video below, Cele launches Operation Tight Safer Festive Season:

Addressing the South African Police Service members, the Minister called on them to restore order.

“It’s important to be hard on criminals. You have no reason to have a relationship with hardcore criminals. When criminals go for cash heists they don’t carry brooms. They prepare. One part of the preparation is to eliminate whoever is on their way. That’s why we give you hard stuff.”

Cele also conducted a walkabout at Diamond Pavillion Mall in Kimberley.

Cele also said police are affected by the coronavirus as frontline workers with more than 19 000 police members infected by the virus. Close to 300 police officers died from COVID-19, he added.