Mmathubudukwane — Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Shaw Kgathi, has called on personnel to be stationed at the new Mmathubudukwane police station to go all out to harness crime in the area.
Speaking during an event where the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development handed over the police project to his ministry, Mr Kgathi said in 2017, 1 623 cases were registered in the area.
They included rape, murder and theft cases.
"There was a decline in 2018, as only 1 028 cases were registered," he said, adding that from January to May this year, 435 cases had been registered.
The police project comprises a police station with 30 offices, 55 staff houses, football pitch and four smallcourts.
Minister Kgathi said the project took a long time to realise, with planning having started way back during NDP 9.
He said he was confident that a fully-fledged police station would go a long way in improving public safety and security in the Kgatleng river villages.
Mr Kgathi said the station's central location would ensure that policing services were brought closer to the people and by any means, the new station would complement Sikwane police station, which was proving to be overwhelmed with increasing domestic and transnational organised crimes.
He said he would continue to pursue adequate resourcing of the police for enhanced public safety and security, which was a pre-condition for foreign direct investment, economic development and diversification drive.
"In this regard, I eagerly await the completion of the remaining police projects due for completion this financial year; being the forensic laboratory, Semolale and Maitengwe police stations," he continued.
Mr Kgathi further challenged those that would be using the facilities and services to ensure maximum returns through full utilisation, due care and proper maintenance.
He further spoke on the newly amended stock theft law, saying people needed to understand that penalties had been made steeper.
"First offenders of stock theft will get 12 years, increased from 5years and second offenders will get 15 years," he said, adding that butchery owners involved in stock theft would have their licenses revoked.
On when the project would officially be opened, Mr Kgathi said they hope that President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi would do the honors in July this year.
For his part, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Mr Dikagiso Mokotedi, urged the police to occupy the facility while still under the defects liability period (DLP), which would last for a year.
He said during the DLP, the contractor was bound by contract to attend at his own cost to any defects or snags that might be identified.
"It is for this reason that we urge the client to immediately have this facility put to use to enable identification of any defects during this period so that the contractor can attend to those as they occur," he said.
The project was awarded to Mido Construction as the main contractor and Architect Collaborative as lead consultant, at a contract sum of P161 627 158.93.
Mr Musa Basera of Mido Construction said they had employed close to 300 people, the majority of them being from Mmathubudukwane and surrounding villages.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>