Rising crime riles residents

RESIDENTS of the impoverished Amajuba district municipality in KwaZulu-Natal are complaining about spiralling crime that has turned their rural towns into havens for criminals.

Areas like Dannhauser, Newcastle and Utrecht are suffering because of high levels of housebreakings, drug peddling and rapes. Community leaders are concerned that unemployed youth appear to be the perpetrators of the crimes.

Mayor Mkhulu Mlangeni said they had opted to use culture to fight crime. He said making youth part of meaningful programmes would help intensify the war against crime.

"In our programmes as the municipality, we recently rolled out a pilot development project crime fighting initiative that educates and engages our youth and community. The project educates individuals about self-protection in the event of hijackings and burglaries. We also teach the community about their rights to report corruption and fraud."

Provincial police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge agreed that the levels of crime were high. "We are doing the best we can to deal with crime."