Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, today handed over one of the country’s state-of-the-art police stations to the South African Police Services (SAPS) in Mitchell’s Plain.
Started in 2011, the project cost R85 million, just under the original budget of R86.5 million.
Mitchell’s Plain, which has the seventh highest murder rate in the Western Cape, is also in the top ten areas plagued by violent crimes in the province.
Handing over the station, Minister Nxesi said his department had insisted that the multi-story, face-brick building in the suburb of Lentegeur, be built according to a new strategy which involved the input of SAPS and the department throughout the project. “We think that this new approach will have a very positive impact on future projects,” he said.
Deputy Public Works Minister Jeremy Cronin said the new police station was people friendly, green, and not as grim-looking as police stations from the previous political dispensation. “We want the community to feel that this is their building. It’s user and people-friendly,” he said.
The new police station is unique in that victims of crime will be able to access it through a side door. This is an attempt not to expose them to second degree trauma. A 24-hour detective service will be available. Detectives will have offices close to the area where statements are taken. As part of going green, there are no light switches, with light being turned on where movement is detected.
The building, which has 132 offices, will house a complement of detectives and members of the visible policing unit. The Local Criminal Record Centre, the only such facility on the Cape Flats, which will house laboratories for forensic evidence, such as finger-printing and ballistics data, will be accommodated on the premises.
The official opening of the police station will take place in National Women’s Month in August.
About 750 people worked on the site, with at least 40 percent of them coming from local communities.
South African Government News Agency