No room for crime in KZN

The KwaZulu-Natal government yesterday launched a campaign to fight crime at every level.

The campaign was supplemented by a multi-faceted symposium that looked at practical strategies to reduce criminal activities.

Premier Zweli Mkhize said crime was a major threat to freedom and democracy as an increasing number of South Africans felt unsafe even in their homes.

"This symposium is different in that it moves away from the usual gripe sessions of moans and complaints, often blaming the police. It aims to refine a multi-pronged strategy to fight crime, in which we all contribute as partners with law enforcement agencies," he said.

He said an increasing number of South Africans felt unsafe even in familiar environments. He said the symposium was to declare a "love for freedom" and an intolerance to crime.

"We are declaring that our quest for freedom cannot be complete if our country is plagued by crime, which has become so endemic, especially the commonest major crimes such as murder, robbery and rape," he said.

Mkhize said the lessons learnt from past experiences dictate that "if we are united, we can stand against any challenge and succeed".

"We have also acknowledged that the government alone has no chance of dealing a permanent blow to crime unless government departments work hand in hand with civil society such as labour, business and other different community formations.

Bheki Mncube, spokesperson for community safety and liaison MEC Willies Mchunu, said the outcome of the symposium would result in a "coherent crime fighting strategy for KwaZulu-Natal".

He said that the provincial government wants to harness the efforts of individuals to build a united front against crime and criminals.