NATIONAL NEWS - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has said it is deeply concerned that the national police commissioner, General Khehla Sitole, has received a request from National Treasury that the South African Police Service (SAPS) cut their budget by R6 billion.
DA MP Andrew Whitfield said if this true it would be “disastrous for the SAPS,” which is already grossly underfunded, under-resourced, under-staffed and under-equipped”.
In a statement on Thursday, Whitfield said a budget cut for the SAPS “will only worsen these conditions, leaving citizens to pay with their lives”.
Whitfield said the DA will write to National Treasury to request that it urgently provide clarity on the matter.
“The fiscus is in deep trouble due to rampant corruption and low growth, but the answer to these problems should not be to cut funding to a critical department like SAPS, especially at a time when our communities have become war zones,” Whitfield said.
THE DA MP suggested that Treasury should address budget shortfalls by cutting down on “ministerial extravagance”.
“National Treasury should begin by cutting VIP spending instead. As it stands, South Africans pay R10 million to protect just one VIP. Moreover, each of the 28 Ministers is allocated almost R4 million per year for 3 new vehicles,” Whitfield said.
The DA MP said the opposition party proposes that an additional R2 billion be allocated towards fighting crime by:
Increasing Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s budget by R200 million; and,
Increasing visible police budget by R1.8 billion.
“This is a budget-neutral proposal which can be achieved within the current budget by reducing the budget for VIP Security by R2 billion … Without an honest and professional police service, which is well resourced and well-capacitated, our citizens will undoubtedly pay for this decision with their blood,” Whitfield said.
“The cut in the SAPS budget will undermine all efforts to keep the people of South Africa safe. The proposed cut will hand South Africa over to criminals.”