Pretoria mayor on crime, power saving

Although crime in public places has decreased, there has been an increase of crime in residential areas, Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said on Friday.

Delivering her State of the City address at the council offices in Pretoria, the mayor said that the city is concerned about the increase in ever more violent crimes that are being committed in residential areas.

”Because criminals are feeling the impact of our determination to root out criminality in public spaces in our society, they’re now preying on soft targets striking where we least expect.

”Let us stand together in communities and participate actively in the sector policing initiative … It will take our collective effort to send a clear message that homes are not vulnerable but are units of a community,” she said.

Ramokgopa called on communities to be vigilant to combat crime and appealed to police to improve their response time to incidents.

More than 68 closed-circuit television cameras have been installed in the city and its surroundings to monitor crime.

The mayor also expressed concern at the issue of violence in schools as well as alcohol and drug abuse.

By-laws will be enforced particularly to rid the city of illegal street vendors who peddle drugs, fuelling the crime problem.

Touching on the issue of xenophobia in the city, the mayor said she believes that the city does not have a serious problem as most people generally get along with foreigners.

She said the city is serious about cutting back its electricity consumption and will make use of solar-powered traffic lights. Tips on saving power were also published in newspapers while a website has been established to assist users.

On the issue of housing, Ramokgopa said that 10 informal areas are to be formalised by the end of the year. Of the 65 informal areas within the city, 23 have been formalised and enjoy access to basic services such as sanitation.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance expressed its disappointment at the mayor’s address.

The party’s Tshwane chief whip, Natasha Michael, said that the address did not tackle issues like the city’s increases in rates and taxes. — Sapa

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