It is not acceptable for police stations to be without power. It is unsafe for victims and the people that work there. If the government cannot provide the essential tools for the police to do its work, it should not be surprised when communities like Graskop in Mpumalanga fire the police.
The Rietgat police station in Soshanguve has been without power for three years. Despite repeated appeals for power restoration from Eskom, the station remains without electricity after it fell victim to cable theft. Previously, the police station relied on electricity supplied by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) from the nearby Mabopane train station. However, power outages affected both facilities when the train station was vandalised, and cables were stolen. While power was eventually restored to the train station, the Rietgat police station was left in the dark.
“It is ridiculous that our police officers are expected to deliver a service under these conditions,” said Tshepi Mmekwa, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society. “The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, fails to put measures in place for officers to do their work while he drives around with a motorcade of bodyguards. A police station should be where people feel safe after tragedy and officers have the tools to do their work.”
Action Society has written a letter to Minister Cele demanding his department fix all the issues prohibiting police officers from doing their jobs.
Action Society is an apolitical civil rights organisation and police watchdog tasked with giving a voice to the vulnerable voiceless. Even though our name bears a resemblance to the political party Action SA, we are not affiliated in any way.