AS part of the City’s ongoing efforts to reduce crime statistics, eThekwini Municipality Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda has successfully convened two webinars to discuss anti-crime strategies with a special focus on hotspot areas uMlazi and Inanda during August.

These were called Mayoral Community Mobilisation Campaign Against Crime Webinars led by Kaunda which included stakeholders from different sectors and crime fighting structures to collectively tackle challenges of crime.

Among the stakeholders that participated in the discussion included the KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety and Liaison Department, the KwaZulu-Natal Community Crime Prevention Association, the Municipality’s Safer Cities Unit, the South African Police Service, eThekwini Metro Police, Community Policing Forums, men, women and youth forums, association of African nationals, Interfaith and Traditional Leadership, Business Forums, Traditional Healers Forums, Local Clinic Committees, School Governing Bodies, local NGOs and NPOs, sports bodies and arts and culture associations who vowed to tirelessly to reduce crime statistics.

The webinars were part of the City’s proactive approach following a release of latest crime stats by Police Minister Bheki Cele which indicated that uMlazi and Inanda were identified as the hotspots for sexual offences and the fact that eThekwini contributes 45 percent towards crime statistics in KwaZulu-Natal.

To forge ahead with the fight against crime, the City of EThekwini is now planning for an Integrated Safer Cities Summit to be hosted alongside with a joint launch of community safety forums (CSF) and local drug action committees (LDAC) during October.

The launch of these structures is imperative because they will support the fight against crime at the grassroot level and will steer the Municipality’s crime prevention efforts.

“We have made it one of our strategic priority, and only when people feel safe in their homes, their places of work, their communities and on the streets we will then rest. We are working around the clock to ensure that by 2030, people living in eThekwini Municipality will feel safe at home, school, and at work and they will enjoy a community life free of fear. Women will walk freely in the streets and children play safely outside,” said Kaunda.

Mayor Kaunda said in order to achieve a crime free City and country, everyone must play a role by reporting offenders. “It is not the right thing to look away and say it is government’s job whereas everyone must fight crime.”

The summit is meant to achieve objectives that includes analysing key opportunities presented by the current policy environment to accelerated target approach to crime and violence, considering a model for safety planning, more collaboration and governance including financial dispensation that exist within the state apparatus, to share the current programme and plans for consideration and input as well as produce policy brief on integrated safer cities approach.