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A recent attack on a woman, in an overgrown field of reeds in Bellvue, Upington, has exposed the Dawid Kruiper municipality’s failure to heed the Democratic Alliance’s requests to create safe spaces.
The woman, known to the DA, was pulled into the reeds and assaulted. She required hospital treatment and narrowly escaped being raped and possibly even murdered. A criminal case, with CAS number: 263/1/2023, has been opened.
Since September last year, I have appealed to the municipality to cut down these reeds, which serve as an ideal hideaway for criminal activity. See pic here. Unfortunately, it has taken this vicious crime to shine the spotlight on the essential role that the municipality has to play in protecting our communities.
Combating crime requires a whole-of-society approach. It especially necessitates municipalities to play their part by cutting down overgrown veld, demolishing broken buildings that get transformed into crime scenes and ensuring that areas are well lit at night.
Given the urgency and seriousness of this situation, the DA has submitted a motion with notice to be tabled in next week’s Special Council Sitting.
The DA calls on the Dawid Kruiper municipality to commit to urgently cutting down the Bellvue reeds. We also want the municipality to come up with an open spaces’ maintenance plan, to ensure that the veld in and around housing settlements across Upington is regularly cleared and cleaned to create a safer environment for all residents.
If the municipality continues to ignore the DA’s requests, they will not only have blood on their hands but will also be blatantly defying all efforts being undertaken nationwide, to combat the out-of-control scourge of gender-based violence in the Northern Cape and South Africa at large.
Issued by Albie Van Zyl, Cllr - Dawid Kruiper municipality
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