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City launches integrated crime-fighting programme
National Launch of Intergrated Safer Cities Project
​The vision of eThekwini being among the safest cities in the world could soon be realised as eThekwini Municipality became one of 10 pilot cities to activate the Integrated Safer Cities Project, which aims to use technological methods to fight crime.

The project launch and signing of the pledge took place at the Dr JL Dube Sportsfield in Inanda on 20 November. It was significant that the event was held in Inanda, who according to crime statistics, rate the Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu (INK) areas as crime hotspots.

The special crime-fighting programme stems from the national Crime Prevention Strategy, with the intention of preventing and decreasing crime rates in major cities. It will use a first-of-its-kind fusion centre which will be a platform for information sharing through a collaborative approach among safety officials. This aims to maximise an efficient response and collect evidence-led information with the aim of achieving safer cities.

Speaking at the launch, Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale said: “What does a safe city look like to you? For us in the police service, the answer is quite simple. A safe city is one where a young woman can walk alone at night, without the fear of being harassed, violated or harmed in any way. This is the goal that this administration is working tirelessly towards achieving.”

Deputy Minister Mathale said through this programme, government aims to see crime decrease by half within the next decade which was a step closer towards a crime-free community.
“A safer city needs to be functional with roads that are accessible, streets that are well-lit and closed-circuit television cameras that work. Safe cities have bylaws that are respected and adhered to by residents and enforced by authorities,” he said.

EThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda said while the City has an active economy, further economic potential cannot be unlocked if there was not a positive investor climate.
He cautioned that it would be extremely difficult to attract tourists to Inanda if the area remained a hotspot for serious crimes such as sexual offences and murder. 

National Commissioner of the South African Police Service Khehla Sithole said the recent spike in gender-based violence (GBV) was a concern and posed a challenge to the crime-fighting project.
 “A better and smarter way of policing this matter is urgently needed.”

Community member and founder of the Gugu Dlamini Foundation that helps fight GBV Mandisa Mabaso said she is pleased with the dedication from the Mayor in youth development programmes and crime fighting strategies. “I hope the community will be encouraged to work together with law enforcement structures going forward.”
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