FS safest province?

2015-10-14 06:00
JOHN JEFFREY, Justice and Constitutional Development deputy minister speaking at the Phuthaditjhaba Multi-Purpose Hall in Qwaqwa on Wednesday.
Photo: 
Tladi Moloi

JOHN JEFFREY, Justice and Constitutional Development deputy minister speaking at the Phuthaditjhaba Multi-Purpose Hall in Qwaqwa on Wednesday. Photo: Tladi Moloi

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PHUTHADITJHABA. – Despite the Free State having been officially declared the safest province in the country, the murder rate has actually gone up in Qwaqwa.

John Jeffrey, Justice and Constitutional Development deputy minister spoke at the service fair at the Phuthaditjhaba multi-purpose hall on Wednesday (7/10), and revealed that not only is the murder rate up in Qwaqwa, but contact crimes as a whole had also notably picked up for the period April 2014 to March 2015.

“When we look at crimes in Phuthaditjhaba and we compare the figures for 2013 –’14 with 2014 –’15, it tells us that some crimes have dropped – for example, sexual offences are down by 16,7%, attempted murder is down by 4,8%, common assault is down by 10%, commercial crime is down by 11,1% and stock-theft is down by 19,8%.

On the other hand, murder is up by 4% and total contact crimes (crimes against a person) are up by 9,1%,” he said.

The service fair was part of government departments’ and other stakeholders’ intervention in providing basic services to previously disadvantaged communities and offering their services for the day in that area in order to accelerate service delivery.

He added they knew it was not always easy for communities to know which government department was responsible for what, or when it was national government, provincial government or local government that was responsible.

“So we are here today to bring services closer to this community. The government departments have set up service points – or mobile offices – in order to accelerate service delivery,” he continued.

Jeffrey mentioned that, in 2010, the Office of the Public Protector opened a new regional office in Phuthaditjhaba in a move aimed at bringing the services of the institution closer to communities located in the eastern part of the province.

“Just as we are moving towards improved service delivery for our communities, we also need to be able to call on our communities to help us in fighting crime. Communities and individuals can assist through taking positive action in the fight against crime and encouraging others to do the same. We must never take the law into our own hands – but we must join hands with the police and other law enforcement role-players,” Jeffrey pleaded.

During the event the community were given a chance to ask questions and got responses from Jeffrey.

However, a large number of people seemed to have a problem with the South African Police Services, and claimed that they don’t show up when called to a crime scene.

Just as we are moving towards improved service delivery for our communities, we also need to call on our communities to help us in fighting crime.

- JOHN JEFFREY

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