Durban — An irate local ward 14 Community Policing Forum (CPF) member, Thembi Mkhize, who lives in Zenzeleni, Mariannhill, says rampant crime that has engulfed their areas has devastated their lives, and the government needs to urgently do something to provide safety for the people.
“We have a lot of people who pretend to be doing business in the area, only to find that they use those businesses as a disguise for selling drugs, which have become a breeding ground for escalating crime within our communities.
“Whenever we report a crime to the local Mariannhill police station, we are told that there are no vehicles to go out and do patrols,” said Mkhize.
Mkhize was addressing the KwaZulu-Natal legislative Imbizo, aimed at addressing the escalating rate of crime in the area, held at KwaNdengezi sports field on Sunday.
eThekwini Municipality ward 16 councillor Bongani Ngubane said the communities of KwaSanti, Nazareth Island, Mariannhill and Caversham have decided to embark on a night patrol operation to fight crime – adding that more than 50 people have been killed since January this year.
Ngubane said crime has destroyed many of their lives prompting them to ensure that CPFs are formed, and are operational in all wards in the area.
“The problem caused by the influx of drugs in our areas gives us sleepless nights, and we are appealing to the law enforcement authorities to assist us in dealing with this scourge.
“Since we began with the night patrol operations, we are beginning to see a difference in that fewer people are getting killed. Hence we are appealing to the authorities to provide us with more police to provide training and guidance to our local men who undertake these night patrols, so that they soldier on protecting their communities,” Councillor Ngubane added.
A school learner, who requested anonymity, said they were tired of crime in their schools. She appealed to the school authorities to fight drugs in schools, which she said would lessen the rate of crime.
“Learners are getting killed within the school premises, and the government does nothing to provide us with school safety,” she said.
An angry Zanele Mbhele, of KwaSanti, said service delivery, and safety, in their area was non-existent.
“We have a housing project in ward 16 that began in 2001, and till today those houses are still only walls and overgrown with bushes and shrubs. The road in also leaves a lot to be desired,” Mbhele said.
KZN Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Siboniso Duma said they have embarked on a campaign to make people aware of the dangers of allowing criminals to continue living among them.
“As the government we have taken a resolution that each department must contribute R10 million as a gesture to ensure that we address the imbalances in terms of crime, so that we address the issue of capacity, as we are aware that police alone will not be able to fight the scourge of crime,” Duma stressed.
The imbizo was preceded by an inspection of a site where a new police station will be built in KwaNdengezi.
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