The lack of rural safety, the escalating number of stock theft cases, and cross-border crime and farm murders are amongst the key issues the Free State is still grappling with.
OFM News reports that according to the MEC for Police, Roads and Transport, Sam Mashinini, these are amongst his department’s top priorities in the 2021/22 financial year.
Tabling his department’s budget earlier on Friday, Mashinini told Members of the Provincial Legislature and Matjhabeng communities that his department will ensure that perpetrators, including those involved in gender-based violence (GBV), are brought to book. He announced that they are working to ensure that each and every police station across the province has victim-friendly rooms and officers are trained on how to deal with GBV cases.
Mashinini said with the R2.8 billion budget in 2021/22, his department is further committed to ensuring infrastructure development at traffic stations, to road maintenance, to filling vacancies and capacitating law enforcers, amongst other necessities.
“We will implement various initiatives – working closely with municipalities – to address concerns raised by our residents.” Mashinini said several road construction projects are underway and are also expected to be completed.
Whilst he acknowledged that the transport industry has been hit hard by lockdown regulations that were imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he confirmed the department will not allow any taxi drivers to transport people without any valid operating licences.
“We will continue our initiatives to improve service delivery across our department and are committed to heeding the call to improve safety and security,” he highlighted.