The criminal state of police living quarters

Herdeshof is home to 184 police officers and their families

Herdeshof is home to 184 police officers and their families (Photo: Kyla Herrmannsen)

To salvage and upgrade the police flats in Sophiatown, the SAPS would need to make good on a promise from 2012 that they would make repairing police barracks and police compounds a priority.

In doing so, police would have to admit responsibility: instead of simply laying the matter at the door of the department of public works, the SAPS would have to apply pressure on the department to perform its so-called “handyman of the state” duties. And the department would have to stop throwing the matter back to the police.

But the back and forth of this blame game has frozen any possibility of development while the police officers and their families continue to live in a sub-standard building that, if neglected any further, could become a serious health and safety risk…

Read Kyla Herrmannsen’s article as it appeared on Mail & Guardian, here. Also read the PDF version here. The piece looks at the debilitated state of buildings (aka police flats or cop flats) that house SAPS employees in Sophiatown.

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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