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Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg on Monday called for a swift investigation following a burglary at the Soweto Empowerment Zone (SEZ) over the weekend.

Member of the mayoral committee (MMC) for economic development, councillor Leah Knott, said the matter was concerning as the City was working on a limited budget to supply resources to communities. 

Knott said various electronics were stolen, including five desktop computers and a TV screen. Preliminary information indicates that the thieves gained access into the facility via one of the bathroom windows.

"The Soweto Empowerment Zone is a facility meant to support small businesses in the township, as the city believes in the potential of SMMEs [small, medium and micro-sized enterprises] to achieve the objective of a five percent economic growth. We cannot allow criminals to continue stealing valuable resources that are benefiting communities."

"We trust that law enforcement will get to the bottom of the matter quickly and that the suspects will be brought to book.  As the City, we request communities to assist with information that will lead to the arrests of the suspects," Knott said.

Knott encouraged communities to refrain from buying any of the items on the streets without any proof of where they come from.

"The buying of any stolen items is an offence and it also creates a market for criminals. We should not allow criminals to interrupt the good work that the city has been doing to create a conducive environment for communities to participate in the economy of Johannesburg," said the MMC.

"These are public resources and we cannot afford to lose them to crime. We will take necessary steps to ensure that all of our facilities are secured," said Knott.

She said security measures will be reviewed to ensure that public resources were safeguarded. 

A case was been opened with the police as well as the City’s group forensics unit (GFIS) and investigations were underway.

African News Agency (ANA)