When a crime-weary community works in unison with the police to make life extremely difficult for thugs, and succeeds, it offers hope for others who despair over crime.
This is the amazing story of the small Ngwathe township in Parys, Free State, where the police, councillors, police reservists and the community police forum have succeeded in fighting this scourge and making the place a no-go area for criminals.
Amid the doom and fear gripping many communities throughout the country over escalating crime, the residents of Ngwathe have proved that all is not lost in the national fight against crime.
All that is needed is for a community to psyche itself out of a state of helplessness and take proactive steps to reclaim the ground lost to criminals.
Having done so, the Ngwathe community has been duly rewarded with safe neighbourhoods for showing courage - and tenacity - when it mattered most.
Victimhood induces paralysis that needlessly leaves communities in despair and trapped in a vicious cycle of fear and helplessness. The time has come for everyone to contribute to community-based anti-crime initiatives beyond whingeing and apportioning blame on the sidelines.
Creating a safe environment for children to grow should be the ideal that galvanises South Africans to tell criminals: enough is enough.