police vehicles fight crime

A row of police vehicles used by the South African Police Service. Image: SAPS

SAPS vehicles out of action: Chaos with over 1000 vans offline in Gauteng

Catch a lift to the crime scene?
The Police Minister has confirmed that over 1000 SAPS vehicles are simply not working in Gauteng.

police vehicles fight crime

A row of police vehicles used by the South African Police Service. Image: SAPS

Over 1000 SAPS vehicles are out-of-service in Gauteng. That’s the rather horrific admission by Police Minister Bheki Cele this week. With crime seemingly continuously surging in the province, the sheer amount of vehicles out of action is causing huge amounts of concern.

Gauteng SAPS vehicles out-of-service

Cele broke down the numbers in a written reply to a question from DA MPL Michael Shackleton. The DA says the vehicle breakdowns have resulted in police not being able to attend to emergency crime scenes.

Here’s the list of out-of-service vehicles.

  • 569 in visible policing
  • 491 in detective services
  • 109 in support services

That’s a total of 1169 vehicles not working across the Gauteng police force.

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When the damage is broken down per affected police station. It only makes matters look even worse.

“Vereeniging has 14 out-of-service vehicles for visible policing with only 20 operational vehicles; Lenasia has 10 out-of-service vehicles and only nine operational vehicles; De Deur has 10 out-of-service vehicles, and 11 operational vehicles and Krugersdorp has 12 out-of-service vehicles and only 22 operational vehicles.”

DA MPL Michael Shackleton

So much for visible policing?

There are also several police stations in the province with just one working SAPS vehicle for support services. Laudium, Dube, Doornkop, Eersterust and Vaal Marina all fall into that category.

If any of those police stations have an issue with their one vehicle, there is nothing else for police to use.

The DA and Shackleton say they’re most concerned by the lack of timeframe given by Cele, as to when the out-of-service SAPS vehicles will be back in action.

The party is now calling on the Gauteng government to urgently liaise with Cele directly, to get a grip on the situation. Shackleton says he will be carrying out oversight visits to police stations across the province, to see just how bad the shortage of resources really is.