ETHEKWINI MUNICIPALITY AND FORUMS DISCUSS CRIME
By: Kwazi Dlamini
The eThekwini Municipality and police forums from surrounding areas came together against crime in a public discussion at the Botanic Gardens Hall on Thursday evening.
The consequences of reducing the number of security guards that were planted all over the city are starting to show as the number of reported criminal activities continues to increase. The eThekwini Municipality reduced the number of security guards because they can no longer afford to pay them.
Homeless people who were living at the Albert Park have now moved into the inner city and citizens are said to be robbed in broad daylight. The public discussion included officials from the eThekwini Municipality, ward councilors and residents.
Those present wanted to ask the municipality about the increasing rates of crime in the city and wanted to know the way forward.
Jeeva Pillay, president of Tongaat Crime Prevention Team, said that there are not enough police around their area and that the municipality knows that Tongaat does not meet the required number of police an area should have.
“Police only chase the addict but they leave the root of it all. They leave the dealer to continue dealing with drugs. Arresting the addicts does not change anything because more people are exposed to drugs. They should be fighting the drug dealers,” said Pillay.
Nomusa Shembe who is eThekwini Municipality’s Safe Cities General Manager, addressed the worried residents about their plan to eradicate crime in Durban and surrounding areas.
“The issue of Albert Park is an issue facing us all. We sat down and came up with both a short term plan and long term plan which I cannot reveal now but we believe it’s going to work. About 365 homeless people have agreed to see social workers. We are making progress,” said Shembe.
She added that the city has started with programs involving the homeless people in sport and putting them in rehabilitation centres so that they can go home once they have fully recovered.
“We are hoping that we will solve the problem. It may be slow but we are getting somewhere,” added Shembe.