File picture: Cindy Waxa/Independent Media

Letter - It is heartening to see that municipal, law enforcement and traffic authorities in KwaZulu-Natal are at last making progress in the campaign to halt the scourge of rock-throwing from bridges in the greater Durban area.

However, two big concerns remain.

Are the initial measures announced last week enough to curb the problem?

Read: Peer vows rock throwing will not be tolerated.

Secondly, is there a possibility that complacency might set in now that the number of reported incidents has been drastically reduced in recent weeks?

When the first incidents of rock-throwing were reported towards the end of last year, communities reacted with shock and horror because the victims were random. 

Anyone behind the wheel of a motor vehicle could be vulnerable and a potential victim of such despicable acts of lawlessness.

So, too, are their friends and families travelling with them.

While some drivers and passengers were lucky to have escaped with only injuries, others have died tragically in these mindless acts of terror aimed at forcing drivers to stop, either to be robbed or hijacked.

Among the fatalities were siblings Amina and Abdur Raheem Haffejee who were killed when a boulder was thrown on to their car from an overhead bridge on the North Coast last December.

Read: Woman, brother killed after boulder 'thrown' on N2

While news that the city has deployed scholar patrols on 16 bridges around eThekwini is to be welcomed, it is disturbing that such patrols will only be conducted during the day.

Most of these cowardly attacks take place at night, so it is imperative that if the same scholar patrols are not available, other law enforcement agencies need to be deployed to assist after dark.

Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer says there are no time frames as to how long the bridges will be manned.

To reassure communities, it is vital that these day patrols remain in place until 24-hour patrolling can be introduced and more permanent solutions - like the installation of steel barriers on the bridges and the erection of surveillance cameras - are implemented.

This is a crisis that affects people from all communities across our province and if funds have to be allocated for this purpose, it must be expedited. Lives are at stake here.

We should also be wary of complacency setting in now that the number of incidents of rock-throwing has been drastically reduced in recent weeks.

While the drop in numbers is encouraging, we need to step up our efforts.

The perpetrators must know the authorities mean business. 

Unnecessary delays will only encourage them to continue their barbaric and criminal behaviour.

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