Joburg to launch new tactical response unit to tackle CIT heists and other crimes

MMC for public safety Dr Mgcini Tshwaku. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

MMC for public safety Dr Mgcini Tshwaku. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

Published Nov 5, 2023


The City of Joburg is set to introduce a new Tactical Response Unit in a bid to curb the city’s rocketing violent crimes including cash-in-transit- heists, illegal mining and non-compliance by night clubs and taverns with the city’s by- laws.

These are the intentions of MMC for public safety Dr Mgcini Tshwaku, who on Saturday told Newszroom Afrika about his plans.

Tshwaku is expected to officially launch this crime-prevention unit on Friday.

In light of a series of incidents of children dying due to poisonous foods as well as the clampdown on counterfeit goods flooding the streets of Joburg, the MMC said the new unit would ensure everyone complies with the city’s by-laws.

“Lots of shebeens are going to be closed that are non-compliant. We are going to ensure the enforcement of our by-laws. At night, we are going to go on operation nightlife to ensure establishments comply with sound restrictions.”

He said over and above enforcing traffic laws, the soon-to-be launched unit will work closely with the police to clamp down on illegal mining.

“We are coming in as a force-multiplier with the SAPS. People have come to us and told us they have a problem with crime;, that is why you see us also being involved with the zama-zamas. We have also been involved with buildings inspections.

“We we think that the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) has to be trained, but they do have a mandate to deal with crime and work hand-in-hand with the SAPS,” he said.

He said the new unit would not be competing with the SAPS, rather they would be helping the police force to curb the rising crime levels.

“I urge my colleagues at SAPS to allow us to work with them. We understand the challenges that they are facing. The only thing that JMPD can do is to arrest, but in terms of detention, investigation, and opening dockets, that is still the function of the SAPS. So, we have to forge a relationship. I appeal to the leadership of SAPS to work with us as our people have been complaining about crime,” he added.

The Star