Residents from the Eldorado Park community feel that they are being failed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Eldorado Park, a township to the south of Johannesburg, because they are never on time when incidents takes place.
Gloria, a 38-year-old unemployed woman residing in Eldorado Park feels that the SAPS in the community are not protecting and assisting residents as their job requires them to do so.
She mentioned that she has opened a domestic abuse case on 13 January 2021 and she was assisted well with opening the case; vans were on time to look for the suspect but they did not find him on the day. She also said the police officer had told her to come back after 72 hours and they would look for the suspect again, but after the 72 hours when she went back she did not find the officer who handled her case. She was told that the officer is not in, and when she asked if there is someone else to assist her she was told ‘no’, and that she needs to come back another time. Gloria said that it made her feel that they have failed to protect her and she might as well give up on the case.
Despite this, Gloria persisted and filed a protection order against the suspect. She was assisted with the order and the letter was delivered to the suspect stating that he should stay 100 metres away from her and if he does not he will be arrested. She added that only after the order was put in place has she felt safe.
Charles, a 28-years-old man also residing in the Eldorado Park community mentioned that he went to the police station on 4 May 2021 around 19h15 to certify a few documents for an interview the next day He arrived at the police station and it was quite empty so he decided to wait for assistance but eventually when he was assisted he was told to come back the following morning around 6am to certify documents because they were changing shifts and it “takes a bit long.”
Charles says “It was the first time I have experienced something like this at the police station, because normally certifying of documents is the quickest thing to do at the station. I could pick up that there is a shortage of staff but at the same time they are failing residents by not giving us full assistance as SAPS of the community.”
According to a police officer who has asked to remain anonymous, his experience at the police station in Eldorado Park was quite satisfactory and he has learnt a lot from the team at the station. According to him the Eldorado Park community has potential but it lacks resources and this is a major factor.
“When it comes to certification of documents there will be shortage of staff at times but that will be when more officers are out on major cases. Every response in cases are different and as a constable I have never encountered people being disrespectful. I did my job and assisted where I could”, he said.
“All communities complains of poor service delivery, but a lot of factors cause service delivery problems. People in communities’ expectations are high in wanting help not knowing some things have a lot of procedures and but they expect quick and satisfactory outcomes,” the officer said.
According to the officer, in the community service centre operation the average waiting time is 40 minutes. At times the language barrier is a problem in many stations, because people refuse to speak English at times.
This article was submitted on 20 August 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article (https://karibu.org.za/poor-service-delivery-by-saps-in-eldorado-park/).