Police top management, led by the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Bheki Cele, has visited police stations in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape with the aim of getting first hand information on service delivery issues. His spokeswoman says this follows a decision and strategy by government to “change the way government works”.
Major General Nonkululeko Mbatha says police management has “embarked on the operation to bring down the number of problematic stations in the country by spending more time on the ground in addressing challenges ranging from infrastructure, skills development, technology and wellness of SAPS members amongst other issues.
“The decision to invade Mthatha is informed by the latest reports on service delivery issues in the area,” Mbatha added. The visit included Ngcobo Police station, Ngangelizwe police station and Mthatha Central police station among eight other police stations within the cluster which serve about 2.4 million people both urban and rural communities.
“Police stations are at a critical point of service delivery. We have taken a resolve to spend more time in the field than in offices as part of SAPS broader crime fighting strategy and furthermore to rotate top management meetings to provinces instead of hosting such meetings in the headquarters in Pretoria”, said Cele.
The police station visits involved provincial commissioners from all nine provinces, deputy national commissioners and divisional commissioners from head office, Mbatha said. “The operation has been hailed as an eye-opener and an effective strategy by [police] top brass.” Rolling it out to other provinces will definitely make a serious dent in fighting crime in the country, the police spokeswoman added.
“We have re-committed ourselves to squeeze the space for criminals to zero, this we owe it to all South Africans. As we serve and protect we are mindful of the fact that the people of South Africa must be safe and feel safe and for this we will not retreat. SAPS Members, My Family – Together pushing back the frontiers of evil”, Cele concluded.