Creating a safer Ekurhuleni

Alderman Patricia Kumalo and Chris van Biljon of the Ekurhuleni Business Initiative, engage with the media during the Crime Prevention Dialogue.

The Germiston Town Hall recently welcomed a delegation of over 600 people who had come to take part in the Ekurhuleni Legislature’s Crime Prevention Dialogue.

The audience included ward committees, councillors, traditional and business leaders, as well as various stakeholders within the community safety cluster.

Following an outcry from various members of the public, the Ekurhuleni Legislature put together a programme that would speak to engaging stakeholders about crime prevention methods.

In his opening address, Alderman Izak Berg, chairperson of the Community Safety Oversight Committee, expressed his will to fight crime on all fronts and rallied the community to exercise its muscle and to unite so they can achieve the same purpose.

Dr Reza Patel, CPF provincial director, attested to advancing crime prevention with the use of technology and presented a crime reporting application.

He added that this initiative was not about replacing state security organs, but about augmenting the state’s efforts to combat crime.

Goodman Mzolo, Ekurhuleni deputy chief of police, outlined current measures of crime prevention employed by the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) and touched on human capital issues faced by the EMPD which negatively impact the department’s ability to work efficiently.

A question and answer session followed each presentation and revealed a readiness to engage as community members voiced their concerns about the current system.

Delegates cited gender violence, fraud and hijackings as just a few of the crimes they are vulnerable to.

Stated unequivocally during the session, was wide-spread frustration with unethical police officials as they had become associated with the very culprits they were meant to protect communities from.

This was deemed unacceptable and delegates requested the metro deal harshly with such individuals.

Deliberating on the way forward with members of the media, Alderman Patricia Kumalo, speaker of council, conveyed a sense of urgency. He wants to ensure crime is dealt with in the City of Ekurhuleni and mentioned that this dialogue was not a talk shop, but a seminar that would bring about change.

The Community Safety Oversight Committee will compile a report of the outcomes that will be brought to council.

Thereafter the Oversight Committee will continue with roadshows engaging different regions – all in a bid to create a safer city.

Brakpan Herald

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