Western Cape receives 251 SAPS vehicles

The Western Cape has received 251 new operational South African Police Services vehicles

The event was hosted by the provincial police commissioner, Lt Gen Thembisile Patekile, and Police Minister, Bheki Cele, on Thursday, at the Promenade Mall in Mitchell’s Plain.

The new fleet of vehicles will be handed over to stations and units in the Province and is meant to improve response time and make policing more accessible to the public.


In addition to the launch of the new vehicle fleet, a digital client satisfaction survey, ‘Rate our Service’ was also launched. This new tool will enable the community visiting Community Service Centres to use a quick response (QR) code to access the survey on-line and rate their experience. The processed results from the survey will be used to enhance service delivery and to ensure that the public receives the best possible experience at police stations.


The City of Cape Town’s District Commissioner, Major-Genera, Vincent Beaton, outlined the proceedings. Major-General Beaton says in order to create a safe environment for all, community members needs to work together with various stakeholders such as SAPS, CPF’s, NHW’s, etc.

"Our provincial commissioner is on a drive to capacitate the crime weight stations with physical and human resources. We are indeed resourcing our crime combating strategy to ensure stations are capacitated with those aspects in order to improve our crime. This is done on the backdrop with our improved crime stats for the fourth quarter which is indicative of creating a safe and secure environment for all, in line with our strategic direction.’’

Western Cape’s Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General, Thembisile Patekile, says the purpose of the event is to outline provincial SAPS’ four-year- strategy namely CEPPAT. Patekile says the 251 vehicles cost R140 million.

‘’This is in line with our strategy - Cohesive Pace Service Leadership; Evidence-based policing approach; Purpose-driven quality investigation; Partnership professional service delivery; Appropriate resourcing; Technology and innovations (CEPPAT)

‘’We bought 251 vehicles at the cost of R140 million to render the service for the community. They will be utilised at all SAPS stations. All actions are no means accidental, but intentional in daily use to ensure that Communities and citizens are getting the service. These vehicles comprise of different calibers, suitable for different terrains within the Western Cape - off-road or urban road. These vehicles will navigate hard-to-reach areas,’’ added Patekile.

The Western Cape police commissioner says the new survey is a welcome move.

 "At the same time we are embracing technology, because police needs to respond to technology today. We will make sure that we adapt to the fast-paced technology. The community will rate the station and service experience and time taken at SAPS and some suggestions, which will only take about 90 seconds to complete, and for all 151 stations in the Western Cape, the service will be available next week.

‘’We urge the community to make use of this service to assist us to check the level of servicing and also the confidence that you have in your SAPS and there is a part that makes a suggestion and how to improve the service at the station, we will know at the end of each month and CPF will know so we can know where to improve our services all these measures are aimed at bolstering policing in the province,’’ added Patekile.

Patekile urged SAPS members to not misuse the vehicles

 "I urge and encourage all SAPS members utilising the vehicle to use it effectively and efficiently, and the community should guard the vehicle's  against misuse and report such action to service management.’’

Western Cape police commissioner says all vehicles will be on the roads

 "The vehicles in the police garage has turned the corner, that no more vehicles are staying in the garage. They are there for a few times, they are out for a service. We have put a few measures in place. We have partnered with TVET Colleges - they are assisting us with the artesians, they have more boots in the garage, where they assist us in repairing the vehicles that take less time to have no vehicles at the station. Last time, we handed over new vehicles and that was in June,’’ added Western Cape’s Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General, Thembisile Patekile.

Rafique Foflonker, who is a cpf chairperson in Mitchells Plain, says the new fleet of SAPS vehicles was much-needed.

"It's a welcome event, because our stations are suffering,our community is bleeding, because of a lack of resources. Too many times, you find that at stations, there are no vehicles to attend to a crime scene and those who come to do duty (sic), but there's no vehicle, and that is a tragedy. We have people who want to work and they don't have vehicles. As much as this 251 vehicles are welcomed, we however need more - lots more, but at the same time we need to look at the garage and those entities that service and maintain the vehicle. The community says we cannot have vehicle standing stationery needing a service, a windscreen or a lightbulb that needs to be fixed for 3 to 6 months. That is not on and the community says we need to see change there.’’

Foflonker urged SAPS members not to misuse the vehicles.

"These vehicles represent hope, safety and freedom. The protect our democracy. When people are in distress, when people are suffering, being beat up, when they have been wronged, when they see this police vehicle driving towards them no matter how upset they were at SAPS, the previous day, no matter the bad review they read - when they see this vehicle, their hearts relax - there's hope and they find themselves at peace, because this vehicle represent something so special."

The CPF chairperson said that without a doubt, the community will embrace the survey.

"What a concept - to be able to rate your experience at the station, when you are dissatisfied, a fantastic way to express yourself there, and now having to go home with a heavy heart and anger and go to social media, now it will get the necessary attention, so I urge communities to make use of the service,’’ added Rafique Foflonker, Mitchells Plain CPF chairperson.

The Western Cape’s Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC, Reagan Allen says he's pleased that all vehicles that the department requested, has now been delivered.

"We have been firm that we are needing to see our oversight role leads to better service delivery. During the month of January and February, when we looked at the data with specific reference to vehicles ordered and vehicle delivered, we saw, at that particular time, 14,88% of vehicles were delivered. We've had engagements and we've been very clear and today I can confirm that the full complement of vehicles that was ordered, were delivered, because when the community members call, we don't want to hear the excuse of there is no vehicles available, it is unacceptable and breaks down the trust between the community and SAPS.’’

Allen says the misuse of vehicles have decreased in the province.

 "We have seen during 2018 and 2021, that on average, 266 officers violated policing usage policy. We have seen steady progress, where the vehicle usage policy has not been violated as much anymore, because you wanted to be firm, knowing that the policy needs to be honoured, because community members are watching."

The MEC says a survey to improve services at SAPS stations is a welcome one.

 "This is the first province that is launching a satisfaction survey. When we are able to see where there's a loophole or where’s action needed or remedies needed, we want to zoom in as quickly as possible, because I do not want officers to become disgruntled, I don't want them to lose their passion and others are not adhering to the code,’’ said Reagen alle, western Cape’s police Oversight & Community Safety MEC.

Police Minister, Bheki Cele, who delivered the keynote address raised concerns that eight of the top 30 stations that reported crimes are in the Cape Metro.

‘’It is important that CPF members anchor SAPS members and they need to work together. If that don't work, then communities won't go far.’’

Cele said the 251 vehicles are still part of 2021/2022's budget adding that more vehicles are on the way.

"These are previous year budgets. This year’s budget is still coming. COVID-19 delayed our orders, but more is on the way. The people of the Western Cape don't look at colour, but rather the services that they get. They want to walk freely but it's not reality right now.’’

Cele says more police officers are deployed in the province. He shared his dissatisfaction about the number of suspects being out on bail

"We have a high number of people on bail. Police arrests suspects, but magistrates produces bail like hot buns. The JCPS cluster will have a meeting and a way forward. Tazne van Wyk was killed by a person on parole. The suspect got life sentences, but van Wyj will never come back.

The police minister urged the MEC to fund CPF members.

 "CPF’s must be resourced. We can't dodge it any longer. They are doing the good work. The time has come not in words, but also in deed - to provide the resources for them.

Cele sent out a stern warning to those misusing vehicles. He added that the tyres of SAPS vehicles will be there within the province and not just at the HQ in Pretoria.

Cele says additional police stations are needed, adding that he met with the new Public Works and Infrastructure Minister, Sihle Zikalala.

‘’Stations must be built, police stations must come out like mushrooms. We must build stations where community members must walk to stations, but more will be revealed in my budget on 23 May.’’

The Western Cape’s Deputy provincial commissioner for support services Major-General Foster outline the new survey.

‘’The data collected is more quantitative nature and will on an ongoing basis be utilised to determine service ratings, identify problematic areas, and best performing environment, Highlight possible solutions and provide overall perception of policing even at a localised service points.

 "Today, we are not only displaying an ongoing commitment to reducing crime in our communities, but we are also saying that we care about the quality of service you receive, we want your feedback and will strive to improve where necessary.’’

Ward Councillor, Avron Plaatjies, says the new vehicles will make Lentegeur, more safer.

‘’I welcome the new vehicles. It’s exactly what we need, and a bit more. I think that police will now be better resourced, in order to respond and proactively combat crime and be more visible in our communities and that's exactly what we need for police to make communities feel safe again and now we take our hands and councillors, police and all community structures to furthermore partner with the new app being launched, these are all welcoming, so we can make our communities more safer.’’

There is no indication at this stage how many vehicles will be given to each SAPS statation/unit.

PICTURED: List of stations/units where vehicles will be allocated to.


For Bush Radio news, I am Mitchum George


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