Anti-crime drive to save business
BUSINESS owners and managers in Kempton Park conditionally welcomed the City of Ekurhuleni’s Siyaqhuba campaign yesterday, saying efforts to rid the area of crime and grime would increase confidence and attract investment.
Siyaqhuba, loosely translated as “we are progressing”, is a campaign initiated by Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina this year, in conjunction with law-enforcement agencies, which seeks to address social ills and inadequate infrastructure in the metro’s nine towns.
Luis Salgado, the owner of the Central District Shop on Long Street, told The Star he welcomed Siyaqhuba as long as the city upheld its promise that this was not a publicity stunt, and efforts were made to ensure Kempton Park was conducive for economic activity. Salgado listed vagrants who he said perpetrated muggings around his business, as well as drug peddling and prostitution, as the main problems.
His views were echoed by the yard manager at Mica Hardware, Paul Hartman, who detailed how potential clients were victimised when they approached his store, telling Masina: “They (the vagrants) throw stones and bottles at (potential clients). The other day a client was outside and they tried to steal his bakkie… When he tried to stop them, 15 to 20 people came to attack the man, whose stuff was stolen.”
Asked by The Star what measures the city would put in place, Masina said three traffic wardens per street would be deployed around Kempton Park’s CBD to assist other law enforcement, and surveillance cameras would be installed across Ekurhuleni.
During yesterday’s walkabout, several arrests were made, including the closing of businesses which had no licences or did not meet city by-laws.
Nigerian national Chukwudi Mmadukolu had his restaurant closed and his assets seized during the raid because his business flouted health and safety regulations.
The DA councillor in ward 17, Simon Lapping, who was also part of the walkabout, said he would “definitely” follow up with Masina if he felt the city was not carrying through on its promises.