STATEMENT TO THE WESTERN CAPE PROVINCIAL PARLIAMENT BY BRETT HERRON, GOOD MEMBER AND SECRETARY-GENERAL
30 March 2021
WESTERN CAPE REINTRODUCES PW BOTHA’S “KITSKONSTABELS”
The Western Cape Provincial Government and all DA members of this house have repeatedly referred to this budget as a “Budget of Hope”.
You can name this a “Budget of Hope” but the choices made by the Western Cape cabinet leaves us with a budget of false promise and no hope for the vast majority of the people of this province.
The false promise is that this budget will make communities on the Cape Flats safer by allocating massive and disproportionate funding for the deployment of an additional 500 learner law enforcement officers to violent crime hotspots.
The idea is reminiscent of the “Kitskonstabels” of the 1980s, which were instant cops created by PW Botha, given 6 week’s training, and used to respond to the social and political realities underpinning the anti-apartheid struggle.
This government hopes its “Kitscops” will reduce the murder rate by 50%. There’s no hope of that happening.
While effective policing has an important role to play in reducing and eliminating violent crime you cannot achieve effective policing without properly trained police officers. You cannot eliminate crime with under-trained “kitskonstabels”.
The cabinet should have chosen to invest that R1.3 billion in addressing the spatial, social and economic conditions that give crime a breeding ground.
This budget gives no hope to the children unable to access a school in their neighbourhood.
The MEC says she cannot build schools because her budget was cut.
But this government chose to fund “kitskonstabels” rather than co-fund access to education by funding schools or expanding schools.
This budget gives no hope to the elderly who must live in a homeless shelter because this government chooses to fund “kitskonstabels” instead of public retirement homes.
This budget gives no hope to the homeless who are living on the streets because this budget chooses to fund “kitskonstabels” rather than adequate housing for the homeless and social services to facilitate reintegration.
This budget gives families living in backyards or informal settlements, waiting on a growing waiting list, no hope of a decent home of their own in their lifetimes because this government chooses not to co-fund the building of houses to more rapidly reduce the waiting list.
This is a budget of perverted priorities.
It fails to address the urgent spatial, social and economic needs of the people of the Western Cape because this budget prefers to return to an apartheid idea of instant cops.
It tries to create a provincial police force, acting beyond its mandate, while ignoring and underfunding its core mandates.
This is a budget that will manifest in more crime, less development and more pain for the vast majority of the people of this province.
We cannot support this budget.