For Immediate Release
2 February 2022
Will the Constitutional Court rule in favour of the provision of adequate and equitable policing resources in townships and informal settlements?
JOHANNESBURG – Tomorrow, the Constitutional Court will hear the matter of the Social Justice Coalition and Others v The Minister of Police. This case concerns the inadequate allocation of policing resources for townships and informal settlements. The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is represented by Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in this matter. Khayelitsha and neighbouring informal settlements have been beset by violence and crime for decades and in an effort to address this, the SJC and other grassroots organisations based in Khayelitsha, campaigned for the Western Cape government to establish the Khayelitsha Commission in August 2012. Individual cases of police inefficiency experienced by members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), SJC, Equal Education (EE) and Free Gender, were drawn together into a report which made 20 recommendations for implementation by various stakeholders such as the minister of police, provincial police commissioners and others. This report was released publicly on 25 August 2014. Between September 2014 and December 2015, the SJC and EE attempted repeatedly to engage with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to address the issues identified by the Commission, without success. In 2016, the SJC, Nyanga Community Policing Forum (Nyanga CPF) and EE launched an application in the Equality Court to challenge the allocation of police resources in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 (Equality Act). On 14 December 2018, the court found and declared that the allocation of police human resources in the Western Cape unfairly discriminated against Black and poor people based on race and poverty, as did the system used by SAPS to determine the allocation of police human resources in the Western Cape. The hearing on what relief should be granted to remedy the unfair discrimination found in the judgement was postponed by the High Court “to a date which shall be arranged with the parties”. The LRC made numerous attempts to convene a hearing to determine further relief to remedy the unfair discrimination however, there has been no response from the court in this regard. The LRC, devoid of any alternative means of vindicating the SJC’s rights, approached the Constitutional Court in April 2021 seeking leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court against the Equality Court’s constructive refusal to grant a remedy. Alternatively, the applicants seek direct access to the Constitutional Court to determine the outstanding issues in the 2016 Equality Court application or for the limited purpose of issuing directions to the Equality Court with regard to the finalisation of the proceedings before it.
For further information/comment contact:
Thando (SJC): – 073 747 1121
Thabo (LRC): – 068 584 2442