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The IFP, as the Official Opposition in the KZN Legislature, believes that the initiatives to address crime announced by the KZN Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, are long overdue.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. These are not new interventions, as they were announced by the Premier during the State of the Province Address in February 2023. As the IFP, we have long been calling on authorities to be proactive in addressing crime by providing a detailed plan - with tangible solutions. The KZN provincial government cannot be trusted because there is lack of political will to implement programmes, even those that are supposed to bring much-needed relief to the people.
Between every government and its citizens there is a social contract – government on its part, must keep its citizens safe; and citizens on their part must obey the law of the country and assist the government by reporting crime.
It is perplexing that people in KwaZulu-Natal are being robbed and even killed by ruthless criminals yet the ANC-led provincial government has received a combined R100 million in contributions from various departments and provincial entities towards the fight against crime.
We call on the KZN Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, to shed light on how much has been spent so far from the monies that have been contributed by each department. What plans are in place to address crime in Inanda and Umlazi? In which areas have CCTV and drones been deployed? Such questions must be answered.
In addition, let me hasten to add that crimes are not reported. Criminals are harboured by relatives or friends. Citizens do not report crimes for fear of reprisals.
It is the duty of the authorities to launch a thorough investigation into arms syndicates to determine whether guns used by criminals are smuggled into the province, or if syndicates collude with gun sellers to buy illegal guns.
The IFP is proposing the following as practical measures to eliminate or drastically reduce criminal activities in our cities, towns, and communities.
- There must be police visibility at key points in townships.
- To address the incompetence of the Crime Intelligence Unit, non-uniformed men and women must be posted in crime hot spots to monitor for possible illegal activities and neutralise operations before such escalates.
- Whistle-blowers must receive proper protection so that they are motivated to share information to prevent or stop crimes.
- Community Policing Forums must be provided with vehicles and stipends.
- Police officers must be properly equipped.
- Porous borders must be plugged.
- Regulations around the inflow and movement of arms must be tightened.
- Criminal cases must go to trial quickly.
We need to rethink our policing strategy before the entire province becomes a den of criminals. Further, the increasing availability of weapons has helped drive rising insecurity and crime in KZN, where guns are commonly used to commit a range of crimes. The IFP believes that the police must work towards eradicating illegal guns to ensure that the province is freed from ruthless criminals.
Issued by IFP KZN Provincial Spokesperson for Community Safety and Liaison Blessed Gwala