Police Nyalas might be on way out

2016-03-09 14:44
(Picture: Supplied)

(Picture: Supplied)

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Heavy police presence, nyalas troubles Tuks students

2016-02-29 13:50

Students at the University of Pretoria tell News24's Karabo Ngoepe of their concerns amid heavy police presence on campus. One student says police nyalas outside campus could be intimidating.WATCH

Cape Town - The SA Police Service is considering phasing out its battle-worn fleet of Nyala armoured vehicles which have taken a pounding during rising protests over the decades, Parliament's committee on police heard on Tuesday.

General Stefan Schutte told the committee that the current fleet of around 200 of the fortified vehicles were also heavy on fuel.

They were no longer manufactured, so to replace them would entail investing in a production line, which would be costly.

SAPS had ordered 4 796 new vehicles for the year 2015/16, and 4 508 had been delivered, with invoices for R1bn issued already.

This could provide relief to communities which desperately needed police vehicles to respond to crimes and emergencies.

But this expenditure excluded money on Nyalas, because they fell under the maintenance budget.

Currently the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and Armscor were looking into a new type of vehicle to replace the Nyala.

A prototype had been developed and it would have to go into an open bid.

SAPS had to decide whether to opt for that vehicle or whether it would accept it as a donation, subject to rules on donations.

"We are looking at something easier on maintenance and fuel," said Schutte. "These Nyalas are extremely fuel expensive and fuel intensive."

The committee heard that the Nyalas had to be started and given a run at least once a month, otherwise they developed problems.

"You can't just park the diesel Nyala without starting it every week and driving it around the block for a month," he said.

But, he added: "It is a vehicle that can take punishment, so to speak."

ANC MP Molebatsi said: "Time is against us. The number of violent protests are increasing at an alarming rate. [Public Order Police] must have... up and running Nyalas to be effective at quelling everything."

Read more on:    police  |  parliament 2016

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