Western Cape Community Safety Minister, Albert Fritz, has welcomed an update issued by the police on the country’s DNA processing backlog.

In November last year, there was a backlog of more than 170 000 DNA specimens that needed to be tested due to a shortage of consumables.

Yesterday, Police Minister Bheki Cele said a two-year contract has been signed with a provider to supply the consumables.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the State Information Technology Agency have also developed a Forensic Exhibit Management System to speedily locate the source and storage of forensic evidence.

Fritz’s spokesperson, Wade Seale, says since the system was kick-started earlier this month, progress has been made.

‘The news means that things are moving forward. It means practical steps have been taken towards diminishing and eradicating the backlog. At the same time, it is sobering that we first have to wait two months before a validation process of the Quantification Kits is concluded before any actual DNA exhibits are processed.”

Minister Cele speaks about the effectiveness of the new system in the video below: