One of Khayelitsha’s oldest areas, Site C, is about to get a satellite police station after more than 30 years.
The move could significantly increase the police’s response time and reduce crime in the area.
Until now, Site C residents have had to rely on the Site B police station, about 3km away.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Marcellus Rajap confirmed the plans to establish a mobile station, which would be open 24 hours a day, seven day a week, and draw staff from Site B.
“The station would play a pivotal role in that area, as it would allow the police to respond more quickly than before,” he said.
However, he could not say when the station would open.
Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) chairman Ndithini Thyido said the mobile station would be most welcome because Site C, like the rest of Khayelitsha, grappled with a high crime rate.
“It is an uphill battle for residents and community leaders in Site C to curb crime, as they don’t have a police station solely dedicated to address their issues,” he said.
He said residents had to take taxis to Site B police station, which, he said, had limited resources.
Khayelitsha’s police stations, he said, were overloaded, making officers less effective.
“We hope that the mobile police station will be installed soon. We have already identified a space next to the Solomon Tshuku hall as the appropriate site. We have made an impassioned plea to the ministry of police for many years to build a police station for the people of Site C, and we hope that a permanent police station would be built soon,” he said.
Ward councillor Mlulami Velem said a police station was long overdue in Site C because of the high crime rate, and he praised the decision to establish one.
“After 9pm, there are no taxis operating, and if something happens to you at that time, you won’t be able to go to the Site B Police station to report the matter. It’s either you wait until the next day to report the case or phone the police station, and they will arrive after four or six hours to your house. This is a painful situation,” he said.
Mr Velem urged the residents to protect the station once it opened.
Ewald Botha, spokesman for Community and Safety MEC Dan Plato, said they were aware of the continuous pleas made by the Site C Community Police Forum (CPF) and the neighbourhood watch. While the department had no operational control over the SAPS, it could play an oversight role with policing in the province.
“ Police resources allocation is the prerogative of the national police commissioner and national minister of police . We therefore do not make decisions when it comes to the implementations of police stations, satellite or fully fledged. We hope any promised mobile satellite police station will not take longer than expected, “ he said.