Anti-crime drive to save busi­ness

The Star Late Edition - - NEWS - KHAYA KOKO khaya.koko@inl.co.za

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.

@khayakoko88

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