DURBAN BUSINESSES UNITE AGAINST CRIME
By: Elizabeth Kunene
The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry held an anti-crime discussion, to find creative and workable solutions that would enable a long term plan to end the scourge of mall crime.
Durban United Against Crime Dialogue was facilitated by the President of the Durban Chamber, Zeph Ndlovu, who outlined that it is a civic responsibility to help fight the scourge of crime robberies at malls and shopping centres.
The Deputy Chief of the Metro Police, Nhlanhla Mthethwa, outlined the mandate of the Metro Police which was crime prevention, traffic enforcement and by-law enforcement.
“Malls are treated as private property and Metro Police cannot intervene without a service level agreement between the City and those private entities,” explained Mthethwa. “However, Durban Metro police will try to make sure that an attempt to engage with stakeholders is made for all malls that they do not have service level agreement with.”
Ensuring that there is visible policing, Mthethwa added that the Metro Police will be undergoing a recruitment drive (recruiting 200 per year). This drive will aim to address issues of professionalism, establishing a code of conduct and reviewing and revising policies to address issues.
Ndlovu speaking with the audience said that Durban is not alone. New York at one stage went through a similar phase and other big cities around the world.
Malls are a place of social gathering where family and friends meet, with people across all ages visiting daily. As such business representatives of malls seemed to be in agreement with the notion that they would not allow their guards to carry guns.Kurt Hogan, general manager of Galleria Mall, said that they would not have armed guards at the centre, stating their ultimate responsibility is to their customers.
Jabu Nkomo, safety and justice chairperson of the Durban Chamber said that businesses needed to hold law enforcement agencies accountable.
“Businesses should consider crime prevention methods or strategies through the safety and justice forum,” said Miss Nkomo.
Busting Crime and Grime is a key vision of the Durban Chamber therefore the Durban Chamber will continue to advocate for a City in which compliance with laws and regulations is the order of the day and all parts of the City are maintained at a high level. In addition, the Durban Chamber encourages business people and consumers to remain vigilant and on high alert against such criminal elements.
*Caption: from left – Dumile Cele, Zeph Ndlovu, Jabu Nkomo & Nhlanhla Mthethwa