No electricity and failing generators at neglected police stations

Police officers assigned to Ga-Runkuwa station — which has been without electricity for eight months — lock themselves in at night and can’t help the community after dark.

According to a Sunday Times report, the officers have to make sure their cellphones are charged for use as a light source should the generators stop working — or if they are turned off to preserve diesel.

A resident living close to the station said she hears generators running about three times a week, but other than that, the station is locked and in darkness at night.

Residents who are victims of crimes after dark are reportedly turned away from the police station due to its lack of power.

Ward 31 councillor Tshepo Kgatle told the paper that the station is locked at night for fear of firearms being stolen.

Police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said the South African Police Service (SAPS) is working to resolve the issues at the station and that plans to implement a permanent solution are close to being finalised.

Failing service delivery at South African police stations is not limited to just Ga-Runkuwa. The Sunday Times visited several other police premises and found other issues.

For example, only two of eight police vehicles at the Nsuze police station in KwaZulu-Natal are driveable, and it lacks network coverage making services like email impossible to access.

The Pheonix police station in Durban has been without running water for around two months, meaning 300 staff, the public, and detainees cannot use the toilet.

A police officer from the station said they sent some detainees to Greenwood and Verulam police stations due to the lack of water.

Mosadiwamaje Mokokong of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union said on Wednesday that substandard working conditions at SAPS premises had lowered morale.

Mokokong said the issue had been raised multiple times with the SAPS at a management level.


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No electricity and failing generators at neglected police stations