Residents of Cosmo City, west of Johannesburg, on Friday took to the streets of the central business district to protest against escalating levels of crime in their township and to hand over a memorandum of demands to Gauteng MEC for Safety and Security.
Community leader Muzi Nkosi said the community was frustrated at the lack of police response and visibility in the area when crimes were being reported.
“We are giving the MEC [Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane] 14 days to respond to our memorandum. If things are not sorted after that, then things are going to get out of hand. We are tired of crime and we cannot live in a community where there is crime,” Nkosi said.
In their memorandum, the community demanded a fully fledged police station to be built between Cosmo City and Malibongwe Ridge. Cosmo City only has one satellite police station that falls under Honeydew.
According to the June statistics for Honeydew police, crime rate was at its highest in Cosmo City with robberies at businesses and homes, theft and break-ins having increased.
Residents also demanded that the number of police vehicles and police officers be increased within immediate effect, with regular searches and crack-down operations to be conducted in the area to demonstrate vigilance and action against crime.
More than 50 Cosmo City residents participated in the march to the MEC’s office.
They had left behind scores of other protesters who shut down public transport services in the township, burning tyres and obstructing the main roads, causing traffic delays on Malibongwe Drive.
Spokesperson for the MEC Thapelo Moiloa received the memorandum, saying that they would be committing as the department to respond within two weeks.
He said they would be meeting with the residents of Cosmo City so that together they could discuss how best to deal with the crime situation.
“The community must also take part in the fight against crime because they know who are these people who are committing crime,” Moiloa said.
“We are expecting participation from community members to assist the police in making sure that they are dealing with the crime.”
Moiloa said though the department could not build the police stations in each and every area, the police would be dispatched to operate in the area until they were satisfied that crime had been minimised.
– African News Agency (ANA)