Western Cape Community Safety Minister, Alan Winde, has given Police Minister Bheki Cele 30 days to respond to a letter asking him to urgently address policing challenges in the province. Winde says if all fails, he will approach the courts for a decision.

He says Cele has previously failed to respond to requests for more police to be deployed to fight crime in the province.

Winde says the Western Cape urgently needs more police officers and is grossly under resourced compared to the rest of the country. He says Cele is obliged by the Constitution to take into account specific needs of provinces.

“The provincial government six months ago, after long process, got to a point where they formally wrote a letter saying this is what needs to happen for our policing needs and priorities. It’s part of the process of an oversight role within our existing constitutional mandate that got ignored again.”

Winde has outlined some of the provincial policing needs.

“Look at the number of policing to population ratio, in South Africa for every 375 people in our country we have one police man or police woman. In the Western Cape that number is almost double that. The problem is we have crime rate but haven’t given the resources every other province is getting.”

Comment from the national police ministry was not immediately available.