KZN declares war against crime, GBVF

KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has declared war against crime and gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), as the province continues to be listed among the most violent in the country.

“We refuse to have our province defined as the rape and murder capital of South Africa because of the killing of ordinary citizens, artists, Amakhosi and Izinduna with impunity. We refuse to live in an age of wanton criminality or to be under any form of reign of impunity… Clearly, we need fresh and re-energised approaches to tackling crime,” Dube-Ncube said.

Delivering the State of the Province Address (SOPA) on Friday, Dube-Ncube said as part of the response to crime, the provincial government has asked the Security Cluster to carry out a host of measures to fight crime.

Highlighting some of the measures taken to deal with crime, Dube-Ncube said the provincial government has called for a review and tighter regulation of the possession of firearms and ammunition, limiting the number of rounds a person can purchase.

Those contravening the law, the Premier said, must face harsher sentences.

“[We are] dealing decisively with unlicensed guns, fake gun shops, and guns which are in the hands of illegitimate firearm owners due to deceased estates, [and] implementing plans to remove all illegal guns that are terrorising our communities and also used in the killing our policemen and women,” Dube-Ncube said.

She commended the announcement of more boots on the ground following the recent passing out parade and the allocation of 1 800 police officers to the province.

Dube-Ncube maintained that to win the war, “we need to attend to the axis of criminality involving the sophisticated networks of criminals which work with corrupt individuals in the criminal justice system”.

She said the provincial government has directed the Department of Transport to revive Operation Shanela to focus on violence and crime on the roads and strengthen the fight against crime.

The Premier said the province will progressively invest in technology and artificial intelligence to deal with crime, and this will include the wide installation of CCTV cameras and microchips to end stock theft, and a strategy to deal with illegal liquor trading.

She said business will be mobilised to sponsor cameras and other technologies as part of their contribution to the fight, and the province is deploying drones in policing to increase safety and ease data collection.

“We will strengthen the role of communities in the fight against crime by launching street committees, which will work closely with the SAPS and Community Policing Forums (CPFs). We will commence educational projects, such as positively messaged TV and radio dramas, workshops and camps to drum the message that that crime does not pay, and criminals should not be idolised,” Dube-Ncube said.

“Each department in the province will contribute at least R10 million towards the fight against crime and provincial entities will do the same. We are finalising a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with SANRAL and Municipalities to ensure that their camera systems are synergised for maximum impact. The MOA will facilitate integrated control rooms, sharing of information and response plans,” the Premier highlighted.

Panic buttons to protect vulnerable women

Dube-Ncube called for partnerships with the private sector to provide panic buttons linked to police stations in an attempt to protect vulnerable women and girls.

“We are proposing that volunteers be recruited to serve at customer service centres in police stations. This will release officers and detectives to carry out the actual work of solving crime and conducting visible policing.

“We will explore with the SAPS the use of unemployed graduates in our databases and get LLB graduates in an internship programme to strengthen policing efforts,” the Premier said.

Source: South African Government News Agency