The premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi’s crime prevention wardens seems more like a PR stunt than an actual solution to the crime situation in the province. It also creates a lot of questions regarding training, funding and legislation.
“We always welcome and support any workable initiatives to combat crime,” said Ian Cameron, Director of Community Safety at Action Society. “But it should be actual crime prevention and not just job creation. Unfortunately, with his latest stunt, Lesufi has not made Gauteng residents feel safer at all. He is also putting the safety of 3 000 new “crime fighters” at risk after a very short training period and impractical tools to do their jobs.”
Lesufi proudly presented the new wardens with brand new BMWs, which will probably be damaged after their first expeditions into places like Alexandra, where the roads consist of giant potholes, even though large amounts of more suitable police vehicles already sit in pounds waiting on reparations.
Furthermore, it is unclear where the funding for the new cars comes from. It either comes from the taxpayers’ pockets, a budget reallocation or a deal where someone benefits personally.
“It is a massive problem that everything Lesufi has thus far touched has failed,” said Cameron. “For example, when he was the Gauteng MEC for Education, he forced schools to admit learners for which the schools did not have the language capacity and lost the case in court, costing taxpayers unnecessary money. During the Covid-pandemic, the Gauteng Department of Education, under his leadership, wasted R431-million for inexperienced companies to decontaminate public schools even though not required in the government guidelines.
“And, this April, thousands of innocent children and vulnerable older people were affected by Lesufi’s budget changes taking away money from social welfare NPOs and redistributing it to drug rehabilitation.
Action Society is looking into suggestions that the correct procedures and legislative steps were not followed to pull off this publicity stunt and will keep South Africans informed of the outcome.
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