KZN govt targets 11 police stations in new plan to fight spiraling crime
Durban - KWAZULU-NATAL has been identified as one of the epicentres of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, with six of the GBV and femicide hot spots being located in the province.
While addressing the provincial executive council yesterday, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said 30 hot spots had been identified in the country and, out of those, six were in KZN.
The meeting, which was also attended by Police Minister Bheki Cele, Transport, Community Safety and Liaison MEC Bheki Ntuli and National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole, was focued on dealing with the scourge of escalating levels of crime in the province.
Zikalala said the brutality the country was witnessing, regarding violence against women and children, was alarming and something drastic needed to be done to reduce the scourge.
He said, in the province, the problematic areas identified included uMlazi, Empangeni, Osizweni, Ntuzuma, KwaMashu and Inanda, which were regarded as rape capitals of the country.
“We have developed a comprehensive approach by working with other stakeholders. We are also encouraged as police have prioritised cases of violence against women and children, and with the establishment of the help desk at police stations.”
Zikalala said, as part of their turnaround strategy, they will implement a stabilising strategy targeting eleven police stations that were prioritised because of the high level of crime reported. These police stations were Plessislaer, Durban Central, uMlazi, Inanda, Ntuzuma, Phoenix, KwaMashu, Mariannhill, Verulam, Cato Manor and KwaMakhutha.
Zikalala said as political campaigns for local government elections intensify early next year, the province would be vigilant against political killings.
He said crime statistics painted a depressing picture that showed an increase in serious crimes in KZN.
“The council has identified the battle against crime as key to the implementation of a successful post-Covid-19 reconstruction and recovery plan. We have also vowed to intensify all efforts aimed at ensuring peace and stability in the province,” he said.
According to Zikalala, the provincial crime statistics revealed that from April 1 to the end of September, there was a 20.2% reduction in contact crimes.
He said that even though there were huge reductions in almost all crime categories, there was, however, a concern regarding border crimes linked to Botswana and Mozambique.
He said these crimes pose a threat to the province and will remain a priority.
“Engagement with all agencies responsible for border management and control are continuing to reduce these crimes. Much remains to be done to build a safe and secured KZN.”