Hon Chairperson, House Chair and hon members, the Portfolio Committee on Police approved the Firearms Amnesty proposed by the Minister of Police. Yesterday our committee met with over 200 Community Police Forums Chairpersons, Neighbourhood Watchers and Police Cluster Commanders from throughout the Western Cape.
We heard how serious crime and gang violence is ripping our communities apart, and our children are being killed by gun fire. Hon House Chair, as a country we cannot allow the wanting destruction caused by fire arms in the hands of gangsters and other violent criminals to go unchallenged. As a committee, we have made it our business to unite in the fight against crime, and we fully support the call for the Firearms Amnesty.
We have decided to amend the dates originally proposed by the Minister of Police and suggested that the commencement date be 1 December 2019 until 31 May 2020. Hon members, the Amnesty was referred to us on 28 August 2019 for a Declaration of a Firearm Amnesty in terms of section 139(2)(a) of the Firearms Control Act. The portfolio committee met on 11 September 2019 and again on 23 October, to finally approve the Firearm Amnesty request.
We have confidence that the amnesty will view the necessary results in the delivery of illegal and unwanted firearms. We know that 32 000 firearms and 348 000 rounds of ammunition were recovered and surrendered during the
previous Firearm Amnesty during the period in 2010. Hon members, our committee raised concerns about the manner in which the SA Police Services, SAPS, has handled the firearms registry and we will continue to monitor the turnaround plan which has been put in place.
The committee further noted that there are people who simply wanted to reapply for renewal of their firearm licenses and that just needed to be considered. However, we show support to the SAPS in making sure that our streets are safer and that they are free of firearms that continue to kill children of Nyanga, other areas in the Cape Flats, Jeppe and Alexandra in Gauteng, in Inanda and Umlazi in Kwazulu-Natal.
We have all the confidence that this amnesty process will allow all firearm owners who no longer want to have their firearms to hand them in for destruction. We also call on all those illegal firearm owners and members of the public who know of illegal firearm owners to come forward and encourage them to hand them in. Hon Chairperson, hon members and hon Ministers, let us all do our bit to make South Africa a safer place.
The South African public experts know less. Chairperson, the portfolio committee is of the view that we need this Firearms Amnesty to help us bring violent crime to order. We support the Firearms Amnesty and we encourage this House to do so. I thank you. [Applause.]
There was no debate.