Reinstate satellite station

Site C residents picketed outside the Khayelitsha police station, demanding answers about the disappearance of their mobile police station.

A group of Site C residents marched to Khayelitsha police station demanding to know what happened to their satellite police station which had been placed at the shopping centre in 2016.

The role of the satellite station was to help alleviate the enormous pressure on Khayelitsha police

When the station was handed to the community, the residents were promised that the police ministry was in the process of approving funds to build a permanent police station. However, that has yet to happen.

At last Thursday’s march, angry residents charged that the community had not been informed nor given valid reasons why the satellite police station was taken away from their community.

Community leader, Asanda Mcotshuna, said their community was one of the oldest areas in Khayelitsha.

Ms Mcotshuna said crime was rife in Site C and that was what had forced them to march from their community to Site B to air their complaints. She said one of their key demands was the re-instatement of the satellite police station and more police visibility.

Ms Mcotshuna said residents lived in fear and their freedom of movement was limited due to prevalence of crime. She said areas which have been identified as crime hot spots and drug dens must be raided and monitored almost daily.

She added that proper communication and co-operation between residents and police should be strengthen so that they could intensify their crime fighting efforts.

But most importantly, she said they were pleading with police officers to respond quicker when there was an emergency.

“We had a mobile police station three years ago but a year ago all of sudden it disappeared. We have no idea what happened to it. We have no place to report crime. We have to take a taxi to come to this police station that service us. This police station is also battling to service Site B and has to service us again. Do you honestly think it would do an effective job? We want a proper police station. Site C is to big not to have its own police station. Criminals in our area are having free time because we do not have a station in the area. Its been long since we have been promised,” she said.

Khayelitsha police station spokesperson, Constable Lowellan West, said the mobile police station had been booked in at the garage for repairs in July.

He said at this stage they were uncertain about when it would be back.

He added that they haven’t received any information that Site C will receive its own police station and they can agree that a station in Site C would benefit  the community greatly.

Eighty-year-old Edna Gwane, who had been living in the area since its establishment 30 years ago, said she joined the march because she wanted to raise her complaints from the senior citizen’s perspective.