The Democratic Alliance (DA) disclosed that almost R1 billion was spent in the 2014/2015 financial year on VIP protection, and accused the ANC government of failing to prioritize fighting crime but prioritized “protecting and feathering the nests of President Zuma’s bloated Executive.”
Pointing out that police stations across South Africa continue to suffer from a lack of resources and under-staffing, the DA argued that the huge money spent on VIP protection could be better spent on employing more member of specialized unit that will help fight drug and gang related crime bedeviling poor communities.
As highlighted, the VIP protection money could be used to hire;
- 6 467 Detectives; or
- 6 879 Constables; or
- 5 437 Sergeants; or
- 4 335 Warrant Officers; or
- 3 426 Lieutenants.
Stating that “the police-to-population ratio is in excess of 1 police officer to 700 residents in some of the most crime-ridden areas” in the Western Cape, and that drug-related crime continues to increase nationally, the DA reckoned that fighting crime is a matter of political will.
With that, the opposition party advocated that “the success of the City of Cape Town’s Gang and Drug Task Team illustrates how political will and funding prioritization that ensures adequate staffing, resourcing, equipping and training can make a meaningful impact on reducing crime.”
DA lamented that no plan of action has been made since the President promised to re-establish specialized anti-drug and illegal firearm units in the police.
To the DA, the people in positions of power have long-delayed empowering the police to protect the people of South Africa. Adding that it’s not only the VIPs that deserves to be protected, the party remarked that “there is clearly a lack of political will on the part of Zuma’s Executive to priorities fighting crime in poor communities.”