Public hearings into rural safety strategy

Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Portfolio Committee on Police will on Wednesday hold public hearings on the current rural safety strategy of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The strategy tries to address the ongoing violent crimes perpetrated against rural communities, including incidents on farms as well as the high levels of stock theft.

The chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police, Francois Beukman, said it was critical to evaluate the current rural safety strategy of the SAPS to determine whether more resources should be allocated to priority stations.

Beukman said the SAPS rural safety strategy at rural and semi-rural stations will also be evaluated.

“Communities in rural and deep rural areas should be the eyes and ears of the law enforcement agencies to ensure that violent and contact crime is brought down,” said Beukman.

Some of the organisations that will be invited to give input to the committee include the African Farmers Association of South Africa, Agri-SA, SA National Civic Organisation and Congress of South African Trade Unions. 

"The maximum participation of civil society and organised labour is vital to ensure a vibrant and effective rural safety strategy," Beukman said.

The involvement and challenges of communities in Community Police Forums and Safety Forums will also be discussed.

Beukman said the committee will use the 2017/18 crime statistics as the guide in evaluating the performance of rural and semirural stations. -