A reply to a Parliamentary Question in the National Assembly reveals that the SAPS Flying Squad in the Western Cape is one of the most depleted units in South Africa. I will be taking this up with the National Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko and including this matter in the Standing Committee Report on police under-resourcing in the Western Cape.
The Western Cape only has 1 Flying Squad unit to service the province. By stark contrast, other provinces with similar populations to serve have several more units. Gauteng has the most number of flying squads at 7, while Eastern Cape has 6 units, and both Mpumalanga and North West has more flying squads than we do, at 3 each.
In terms of numbers of officers assigned to these flying squads, the picture for the Western Cape looks grim. The number of officers assigned to the single SAPS flying squad in our province has been more than halved since 2011, when we had 200 officers. This has been whittled down to just 90 officers presently, a massive 55% reduction. While other provinces have seen marginal reductions in their officer compliments, the Western Cape is by some distance the worst – more than double the reduction in comparison to the next worst province.
This further illustrates the under-resourcing of police in our province. By comparison, the Eastern Cape has more than double the number of officers at 196, the Free State has 232, Mpumalanga has 135 and Gauteng 720. KwaZulu-Natal saw an increase of 8% to 120 officers in the same time.
I will be taking this matter up with the National Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, and including this matter in the Standing Committee Report on police under-resourcing in the Western Cape. The Western Cape Provincial Parliament recently conducted a series of public hearings regarding under-resourcing in the Western Cape and the matter of the flying squad under-resourcing will be added to the report.
Mireille Wenger MPP