More than half of Gauteng police's Flying Squad cars out of action

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SAPS flying squad vehicle
SAPS flying squad vehicle
  • Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko says 124 of the province's 231 Flying Squad vehicles are inoperable.
  • The West Rand Flying Squad has been hit the hardest, with 20 of its 26 vehicles out of service.
  • The DA plans to write to Police Minister Bheki Cele about it and intend to ask him to intervene.

Mechanical breakdowns and collision damage have left more than half of the Gauteng police's high-performance Flying Squad vehicles are out of service.

In a written response to questions from DA MPL Michael Shackleton, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko revealed that of the 231 Flying Squad vehicles in the province, 124 were inoperable. The vehicles were either at various SAPS garages or at private workshops.

Mazibuko added:

There is no specific timeframe for the finalisation of the [repairs to the] vehicles for the following reasons: Vehicles are booked in at various SAPS garages throughout the provinces and many of the vehicles are outsourced to private facilities.

The West Rand Flying Squad has been hit the hardest, with 20 of its 26 vehicles out of service.

Fourteen of the vehicles have been out of service for less than three months and the unit hasn't been able to use four for more than three months.

Mazibuko added:

Although it negatively impacts police visibility, crime hotspot areas and highways are prioritised to ensure high visibility in those areas. In addition, deployment of [resources] is conducted together with metro police departments to enhance police visibility.

Mazibuko added that the department could not calculate the impact the situation could have had on crime prevention.

The DA said it would write to national Police Minister Bheki Cele to ask for his immediate intervention.

"This has also negatively impacted the work of the police Flying Squad, which [is] mostly deployed in crime hotspot areas, particularly during this recent unrest where they could have assisted in preventing the people from looting and damaging malls and shops," the DA said.

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