Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has vowed to disarm South Africa by 2063.
“We must silent the guns by 2063… We have developed a tailored programme for the recovery of stolen and State-owned firearms,” said Minister Mbalula during his Ministry’s Budget Vote debate on Tuesday.
The plan will see the Firearms Licence Appeal Board forwarding proposals during this year that will better manage the spread of firearms and reduce the proliferation of firearms.
This is in line with the Africa Agenda 2063 to reduce the flow of guns in Africa.
Illegal circulation of firearms has been attributed to the high number of criminal activities. However, Minister Mbalula declared war against criminal activities and criminality.
“Criminals are … terrorising our people. We must declare war against crime. We must declare crime as domestic terrorism.”
Parallel to silencing the guns, police will oversee the recovery of stolen and robbed vehicles of the police. This programme also intends to put an end to the killing of police.
The South African Police Service (SAPS) has been allocated a budget of R87 billion for the 2017/18 financial year, which includes a transfer to the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service of R124.7 Million.
These funds will help the ministry as it implements is Back to Basics Approach, which was introduced last year. The project aims to ensure that police stations are accessible and interactions between the police and the public are positive.
A significant proportion of the department’s budget, approximately 76.4% over the medium term, will be allocated to spending on the compensation of employees.
The department is developing a plan to expand public order policing to support the implementation of the recommendations of the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Allocations of R242 million in 2017/18 and R355.8 million in 2018/19 were approved by Cabinet in the 2016 budget for this purpose.
A total of R2.5 billion is allocated over the MTEF period to the administration programme to build, upgrade and maintain police stations.
Minister Mbalula announced that the department plans to build 63 additional police stations over the period at an estimated cost of R588.3 million.
The department also plans to prioritise the replacement of vehicles that have mileage in excess of 200 000 kilometres. These vehicles constituted 35% of the total fleet at the end of 2015/16.
An amount of R5.7 billion is allocated over the medium term for transportation equipment, including vehicles, and R4.5 billion is budgeted for fleet maintenance.
The ministry is currently procuring 3 379 vehicles to address the shortages in the provinces. Work sessions were conducted with all the Provincial Fleet Managers to sensitise them on the issuing of vehicles that are compatible with the terrains of the geographically varying provinces.