Police barracks “left to rot”


Appalling conditions at some police barracks are contributing to the lack of morale in the South African Police Service and affecting the ability of the men and women in blue tasked with ensuring law and order in the country.

One of the police housing units that Anchen Dreyer, the Democratic Alliance’s Shadow Minister of Public Works, visited was last year declared a health and safety hazard.
“It could easily house at least 100 families but is now illegally occupied by drug dealers and prostitutes,” she said after seeing the run-down condition of Excelsior Court.

The Berea Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which houses the east coast harbour city’s police detective branch, has a leaking roof and rotting carpets.
“The building is also infested with bird lice from pigeons nesting in the roof,” she said.

She will submit questions to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi via the portfolio committee after seeing Natalia Court Barracks where police officers have to live with raw sewage seeping through rusted and broken pipes.

This particular police barracks was on the 2012 maintenance list but no work has yet been started due to insufficient funds, she said.
“The overall impression is that Public Works is literally leaving at least some barracks in the Durban area to rot.
“Creating better living conditions for our policemen and women is essential to improving the morale of our police service. They should be treated with dignity, not left to live in squalor,” Dreyer said.

Apart from the three Durban police accommodation and offices police facilities in Carletonville, the old Marshall Street Barracks in Johannesburg and Randfontein’s old Home Affairs building are also in a sorry state.
“All have been largely demolished by vandals and are completely uninhabitable,” she said.