Joburg winning war on crime

Skyline view of Johannesburg. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

City defies global trends by getting credit upgrade from rating agencies, says manager.

Crime in Johannesburg has decreased by 22% through the installation of better surveillance systems and a faster response time from authorities, the City of Johannesburg said in a report.

Before the systems were put in place, crime was higher as city authorities were unable to pinpoint the locations of reported incidents. The city manager, Trevor Fowler, said Johannesburg had been able to reduce crime due to a system piloted in the inner city. “Not only is [crime] monitored, but there is also a system that is able to immediately track and pull together things like licence plates and pictures of the individuals,” he said.

Fowler said the system had helped the city to monitor high crime areas. Fowler was speaking at the release of the report for the 2014/2015 financial year, saying the municipality had defied global trends by receiving a credit upgrade from rating agencies. The city also said the amount of money it invested in infrastructure projects had increased by 38% – from R7.3 billion in the previous period to R10 billion.

But the city said the unemployment rate continued to be high at 24.5%. This was despite opening the door for unemployed youth with programmes such as The City of Joburg Educating Digital Intern Programme (COJEDI), which focused on driving innovation and entrepreneurship, preparing students for employment and empowering them to significantly participate in the mainstream of the ICT sector.

The report said the unemployment rate had been a result of skills scarcity and a oversupply of unskilled or semiskilled workers. On the issue of residents’ billing, the city said the crisis which had plagued residents for more than five years had been resolved and the number of incorrect bills sent out to customers had decreased to 1.5% through the installation smart meters and mechanisation.

Councillor Geoffrey Makhubo said the city increased its revenue collection from R19 billion rand in the 2013/2014 financial year, to R42 billion last year.


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