Gauteng businesses owners live in fear as they are constantly under siege from criminals who rob and pillage them.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Gauteng is deeply concerned about 10219 cases of attacks, crimes, and robberies against businesses in the province, a clear indication that businesses are under severe threat. This has created unnecessary anxiety about the ability of SAPS to ensure business safety through visible policing, with aspiring entrepreneurs too scared to pursue their dreams of starting their own business at risk that it could be targeted.
This information was revealed by the Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko in a written reply to my questions tabled in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL).
According to MEC Mazibuko, the 10219 cases of attacks, crimes, and robberies against businesses in Gauteng were reported from April 2019 to December 2020.
Of these cases reported, the Ekurhuleni district is leading with 3486 cases, followed by the Johannesburg district with 3186 cases. The Tshwane district is at position three with 2160 cases, followed by the Sedibeng district with 748 cases, with the West Rand District at 639 cases reported.
The top police stations that recorded the highest cases include:
- Johannesburg Central with 299 cases
- Hillbrow with 163 cases
- Kempton Park with 215 cases
- Germiston with 183 cases
- Temba with 164 cases
- Pretoria Central with 132 cases
- Evaton with 137 cases
- Vanderbijlpark with 124 cases
West Rand district:
- Randfontein with 114 cases
- Kagiso with 112 cases
Furthermore, spaza/tuckshops/general dealers were the businesses that experienced the highest number of attacks, crimes, and robberies from April 2019 to December 2020 with 618 cases, followed by clothing and shoe retailer stores with 150 cases, while convenience stores, which includes restaurants at filling stations totalled 129 cases.
Small businesses that operate in townships play a critical role in creating employment opportunities in these local communities, where residents are battling to find employment in city centres or CBDs that are often a costly travel distance from where they live. These businesses also bring investment into townships, which makes their safety even more critical for the economic stability of these communities.
The DA has already demanded that MEC Mazibuko should ensure that there is police visibility across the province to ensure the safety of our people and their businesses.
We also urge local business forums to conscientize their members to ensure the safety of their businesses, by tightening security and safety measures such as the installation of CCTV cameras, alarm systems and hiring private security.
Where the DA governs in Midvaal, tangible action has been taken to ensure improved safety for residents and businesses, with the implementation of a crime prevention strategy that involves 3000 community patrollers, working with police to ensure the safety of residents. The department should replicate what the DA-led administration has implemented in Midvaal across the province to ensure the safety and security of our people and their businesses.
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