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EThekwini launches community safety structures

Crime prevention measures throughout the eThekwini region were intensified during the launch of Community Safety Forums and Local Drug Action Committees.

The committees, which were launched on 6 November by MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli together with MEC for Social Development Nonhlanhla Khoza and eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda will serve in all 111 wards.

The main launch took place at the Moses Mabhida Stadium with digital links to 10 other host venues around the City.

Officially launching the structures, MEC Ntuli said these are crucial as they will heighten collaborative crime fighting initiates in eThekwini which recorded high levels of criminal activities in areas such as Inanda and uMlazi, which featured in the top 10 stations for murder in the 2019/2020 crime statistics.

MEC Ntuli said disturbingly, Inanda and uMlazi also recorded the highest number of sexual offence cases, including rape, in the country. “These structures will be the eyes and ears of government on the ground. They will ensure government plays a stronger, more proactive role in driving integrated safety responses and implementation.”

MEC Khoza said she dreams of the day where women will walk freely in the street, saying collaborations such as these are important to collectively tighten bylaws that will send a strong message to criminals.

Mayor Kaunda said the plan was to enable wards to develop their own crime prevention strategies that address specific crimes affecting their area. He said the advantage of this initiative being at a ward level will allow communities to identify safety threats and design collaborative interventions that meets the needs of a specific community.

“In each voting district, crime varies whether it is livestock theft in one community and drugs affecting a neighbouring area while in some wards rape is a serious concern.  This requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders to defeat the scourge of crime,” Mayor Kaunda added.

The eThekwini Community Safety Forum aims to build safer communities and is set to start training soon. Mayor Kaunda said they will be utilising the knowledge of police when training participants.
“Fighting crime is not just about the police arresting criminals, it is also about addressing socio-economic issues. We need partnerships to win this fight. We need sports and recreation bodies to come on board to keep youth away from drugs. Community halls should also be utilised for arts and culture activities,” said Mayor Kaunda.

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