JOHANNESBURG, July 17 – The African National Congress (ANC) has on Monday blamed the Democratic Alliance (DA) for failing the City of Cape Town in combating crime and demanded to see results of the R60 million being spent annually on gang hotspots in the City.
The ruling party said according to statistics released in March, the Western Cape accounts for more than 36 percent of all drug-related crimes in the country which at 107,379 counts in 2016/17 reflects a 14.2 percent increase from the 93,996 counts in 2015/16.
“Almost a quarter (22.78 percent) of all crime reported in South Africa occurred in the Western Cape and predominantly in Cape Town,” the ANC said in a statement.
The ruling part said the findings in the 2017 State of Urban Safety Report, released by the South African Cities Network’s Urban Safety Reference Group (USRG), the city of Cape Town has seen a 40 percent increase in the reported murder rate in the last five years.
“The DA has failed the people of Cape Town, again because its leaders do not come from where the problems are and therefore have no idea how to find solutions. The DA has failed the victims of crime.”
Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Social Services and Safety and Security, JP Smith, has dismissed the accusations by the ANC and said the DA has changed things in how the metro police work over the last decade.
“When I became Mayco member, we discovered that the previous ANC city administration had done nothing about gang violence. They had no programs, no budget set aside for stopping the violence, no specialised units and were hardly making any arrests,” said Smith.
“We have sped up the eviction process for gangsters selling drugs in Council rental flats, as nothing was happening before under the ANC city administration before 2006… So we have a strategy and it is yielding results.”
Smith said the previous report to the parliamentary portfolio committee showed that gang murders were reducing year on year.
“We do not have statistics for the last year and one cannot deduce the statistics from the general crime stats that are released by [the South African Police Service] SAPS do not differentiate between gang related murders and murders not related to gang activity.” (ANA)