Targeted rural towns beef up security to fight crime

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Security has been stepped up to deal with robbers who target the impoverished rural towns of northern KwaZulu-Natal as the festive season approaches.

Residents of the rural towns had previously complained that they had become soft targets since more police were deployed in the big cities.

Retailers had also complained that their businesses had become soft targets for armed robbers.

Police spokesman Captain Shooz Magudulela said: "To prevent these small towns from being targets, more police have been deployed to patrol rural towns such as Newcastle, Dundee and Nquthu."

He added that a meeting had been held with companies that transported cash to outline a strategy to prevent robberies.

Police had been deployed at places like casinos as many people flocked there at this time of the year.

Magudulela said: "We will set up roadblocks to fight crime. We will have patrol vehicles on all roads. We also met with factory workers and warned them about crime."

Meanwhile, the KwaZulu-Natal road traffic inspectorate has reported that an estimated 1300 vehicles were recorded using the N3 every hour.

Ladysmith police spokesman Captain Ursula Cronje said: "We have additional patrol vehicles and are continually raiding suspected criminals."

At the notorious Steadville township near Ladysmith, a resident, who did not want to be named, told Sowetan there were fears that they would be victimised because criminals flocked to the area as police were stationed in the big cities.

Cronje said they had also formed partnerships with local security companies in order to make sure that everyone had a peaceful festive season.