Statement by City Manager, Dr Michael Sutcliffe:
Firstly, in terms of vacancy rates, over a number of years we have tried to educate journalists about these “vacancy rates”, but it seems to no avail. In brief, the vacancy rates are based on approved organograms which are the number of staff we would like to have to fulfill our mandates. The approved positions include funded positions (and we are trying to ensure all those posts get filled) and unfunded positions.
If we wished to fill all these unfunded vacancies, then we would need to increase rates by some 90%, over and above the annual increases. This is obviously not going to happen and so we work within what budgets we receive each year, and when we are able to receive some additional funds for critical vacancies, then we direct those to the areas most needed.
Singling out one department is unhelpful and I am surprised that the DA, who voted against the budget, are the ones raising this. I do think they should be asked where they intend to find the funds for these additional posts because such can only be found if they increase, by massive percentages, the existing rates.
If we did employ just an additional 1000 Metro Police officers, we would have to increase the rates base by some 5-6%, excluding the impact this would have on office space, operational and capital budgets.
Secondly, Councillor Veeran’s claims about eThekwini around crime rates are simply not borne out by the facts. In brief, the SAPS “Crime Situation in South Africa” report indicates that there have been successes in reducing crime in 2009-10. It is noteworthy that regarding assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm per 100,000 that the ratio for KwaZulu-Natal is 295.6, down from 298.0 in 2008-9. In contrast the ratio for Gauteng has increased to 466.1 from 461.9, and Western Cape increased to 449.2 from 438.7.
The City Manager of eThekwini, Michael Sutcliffe says; “The Weighted Crime Incidence Score table below confirms that eThekwini has the lowest weighted crime incidence and is well ahead of Cape Town and Johannesburg.”
- eThekwini Metropolitan (KZN) – 0.1738
- Msunduzi (KZN) – 0.179
- Ekurhuleni Metropolitan (Gt) – 0.2014
- City of Tshwane Metropolitan (Gt) – 0.2382
- Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan (EC) – 0.2402
- Buffalo City (EC) – 0.243
- Mangaung (FS) – 0.2491
- City of Johannesburg Metropolitan (Gt) – 0.2535
- City of Cape Town Metropolitan (WC) – 0.3057
Sutcliffe continues; “The weighted crime incidence score (WCIS) applies weighting of crimes in accordance with the SAPS Crime Intelligence Unit’s crime weights. These weights take into account the severity of crimes. Following the application of weights to the number of crimes per category the weighted crimes are then divided by the number of residents per Municipality. The result is an index where the lower scores indicate lower incidences of crime and a higher index indicates a higher incidence of crime.”