Shadow police: Ga-Rankuwa SAPS boss explains difficulties of not having electricity for past 8 months

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Garankuwa police station has been without electricity for the past eight months. (Photo by Jacques Stander/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
Garankuwa police station has been without electricity for the past eight months. (Photo by Jacques Stander/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
  • The Gauteng provincial legislature's portfolio committee on community safety conducted an oversight visit at the Garankuwa police station after finding out it has been without electricity for the past eight months.
  • The station commander said it had become difficult to render certain services to the public because of the near-constant power outage. 
  • The police station closes at night with the gate shut, prohibiting people from going there at night.

The Ga-Rankuwa police station in Tshwane has been unable to deliver policing services to residents after being left without a permanent electricity supply for the past eight months.

The Gauteng provincial legislature's portfolio committee on community safety conducted an oversight visit of the police station on Thursday. 

The committee said the purpose of the visit was to ascertain the main reasons why a critical component of the Ga-Rankuwa community responsible for the prevention and detection of crime as well as the maintenance of public order had its power cut for over eight months.

The committee said:

The committee is extremely concerned that police services are considered as an essential service in South Africa and to have a police station without electricity for over eight months is to undermine the critical role police officers play in keeping communities safe.
 

The committee heard that the police station had been without electricity following an issue between it and public works - in terms of a mini sub-station meant to feed power to the police station and the neighbouring forensic laboratory.

The police station conceded that it had been without power for several months, at one point having to rely on the use of a generator, which eventually broke down. 

During the meeting, the station commander Brigadier Junior Lehabe-Metsi, conceded that it had become difficult to render certain services to the public as a result.

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She explained that cases had to be registered at other police stations because they could not access internet services. This would also leave a police vehicle out of commission. 

The station commander had already told the committee that there was a serious shortage of vehicles to police the area. Community members looking to call the police station for help, or to report a crime could not do so either because of the power outage. 

News24 also heard that the police station had closed at night, with the police station's gate shut. This blocked people from coming to the police station in the evenings.

Meanwhile, one of the committee members said that the police station's holding cells could not be used because of the power outage. Arrested suspects had to be transported to neighbouring police stations to be held in custody.


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