New Diepsloot police station brings hope

Pretoria: Residents of Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, say the new police station in their community has brought hope in the fight against crime.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi on Wednesday visited the police station. In his interaction with the community, the Minister apologised for the delay in the completion of the building. Construction started in March 2008 and it is expected to be fully completed early next year.

Minister Nxesi said R105 million was spent on the construction of the police station.

A member of the community who was present during the Minister’s visit, Vusimuzi Mthethwa, told SAnews that although the police station was a long time coming, they feel safer.

“I feel much safer because the police station is closer to us and that they will respond quickly when called to crime scenes,” he said.

Although construction is still continuing, police officers have already started serving the community from the building. The police started operating from the building from 1 September this year.

Upon his arrival at the station, the Minister met with the station’s senior officials and thereafter proceeded to conduct an inspection of the building.

His visit to the station was part of the National Imbizo Focus Week activities.

The construction of the police station came to a halt after the department had detected that the constructor was experiencing serious cash flow problems and the workers were not being paid.

“We would like to thank the contractors who have worked hard to finish this police station since they took over the completion contract in March 2013.

“We know that they had to fix a lot of problems that had crept on to the site since the stopping of work because of the problems of the previous contractor,” Minister Nxesi said.

He said the problems experienced during the construction of the police station had made the department more careful in applying stringent measures when appointing contractors.

The Minister appealed to the community to help look after the police station as it belongs to them.

“This is your police station. Look after it,” he said.

He called on the locals to work with police in the fight against crime. He cautioned that they should not take the law into their own hands.

Acting Station Commander, Lt Colonel Wilma Serfontein, said before moving to the new building, they were sharing a building with the Metro police in another section.

“We were crammed in seven offices,” she said.