ANC expresses grave concerns over provincial bill
The ANC expresses its concerns regarding a new power grab bill whereby the DA run Western Cape provincial government aims to wrongly assume powers to control the South African Police Service.
This bill follows hot on the heels of the traffic legislation whereby the DA wants to override national legislation and overstretch its constitutionally limited powers to ban blue lights and sirens which is authorised by national legislation.
The latest bill also follows in the wake of the ill-considered Zille commission of inquiry into SAPS in Khayelitsha (which is fast becoming an exercise in fruitless and wasteful expenditure of about R6 million already pumped into it).
At the last meeting of the Western Cape provincial legislature‘s standing committee on community safety ANC representatives Joyce Witbooi and Khaya Magaxa expressed grave reservations about the limited public participation process to be followed.
The committee will only have three hearings on the new bill outside of Cape Town, and not in all regions. The hearings are scheduled for 22 January 2013 at 2pm in George civic hall, 23 January 2013 at 12pm in Beaufort West’s Urie Taylor Hall, 25 January 2013 at 11am in Vredendal’s Pietie Hamman Hall and lastly 29 January 2013 at 9 am in the Cape Town Provincial Building’s chamber (6thFloor, 7 Wale Street). Written submissions close at 12 noon on 16 January 2013.
The ANC insisted on the proper advertisement of the hearings and submissions in all media; and for notifications to be sent to all role-players as the hearings are due shortly after the festive season and holiday period.
“Unlike the ANC the DA does not promote public participation and turnouts are low. At some events during the past year the public did not come, saying they were not informed. The public need to be widely invited and actively encouraged to come.
“This is a mockery as public participation is not a mere optional nicety, but a Constitutional imperative. The people who will be affected by the legislation must be given ample opportunity to express their views and be heard.
“Thus far only six submissions were received. People must be alerted of this legislation which will dramatically impede on SAPS and change powers of SAPS given by national legislation.
“It is going to overstep onto the national level of governance because a province does not have the right to deal with the criminal justice system. The DA only targets SAPS and does not address municipal police under DA control (which has now become a pattern). The bill is a waste of taxpayer money, negative, repetitive, disjointed and duplicates national legislation. It also tries to overrule national operational control and is therefore totally unnecessary as most of the provisions are already in place,” says ANC MPL Joyce Witbooi.
The ANC says the DA government is trying once more to pass legislation outside of its assigned powers, which is in conflict with national laws (like the SA Police Act). It will only create unnecessary bureaucracy and is aimed at taking over the tasks of other watchdog institutions like the Independent Police Investigation Directorate and the Civilian Police Oversight Secretariat. This bill will in the long run be challenged in the highest court and become a waste of taxpayer money.
Statement issued by Joyce Witbooi , ANC Western Cape, December 5 2012