New police station for Chatty by end of September, Bheki Cele vows
The army will not be deployed to Port Elizabeth’s gang-ridden northern areas but they will get a new police station within the next two months.
This was revealed by Police Minister Bheki Cele during a visit to Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Cele, who was flanked by provincial top cop Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga and her management team, visited several roadblocks and police stations across Nelson Mandela Bay.
Mayor Mongameli Bobani, Safety and Security portfolio head Queenie Pink and metro police chief Yolanda Faro also accompanied Cele.
Cele said his visit came on the back of his previous meeting in Port Elizabeth in December where he established a gang task team to assist with the spate of gang killings.
“I am here as a follow up to this meeting. They have made great progress and we hope that when this (anti-gang) unit is permanent they will do even better,” he said.
The anti-gang unit has been operational since last month, despite not being officially launched.
Booysen Park residents at the community centre asked Cele several questions about gangsterism in the area and what was being done.
Cele said that since January 19 gangsters had been sentenced to more than 200 years in jail, demonstrating that in roads were being made.
Asked about the military being deployed as is the case in Cape Town, Cele said there was no need for such interventions in Port Elizabeth at this stage.
“We are making progress here but we are also keeping our ear to the ground and will monitor this situation,” he said.
Cele told residents that one of the reasons for his visit was the ongoing protests in the area.
“Crime is still high here but the police are addressing that and we are moving forward,” he said.
Cele announced that the R11-million police station would be erected in the Chatty area by the end of September.
“We are moving away from the big university-style police stations and are wanting medium-sized police stations.
“This allows us to place police stations everywhere which gives our community access to them.”
Bobani guaranteed residents that a municipal team would be on site clearing the bush to prepare the site on Monday.
Ntshinga said these new style police stations were known as “park homes” and considered very modern and quicker to erect.
She added that the police station would be up and running by the end of September.