‘BEWARE THE ides of the march’ Joburg.
Today saw the launch of Joburg Crime Prevention Strategy campaign that kicked off at Cosmo City Mall, a stone throw away from the Lanseria Airport.
The purpose was to conscientious and create awareness to the public on illegalities that happen under their nose on how and where to report such wrong activities as we draw close to festive season.
Cosmo City is one of troublesome areas whose crime rate is of major headache in the City of Joburg due to rented houses that end up being hijacked by unscrupulous agents or persons.
This being identified as the International Fraud Awareness Week, the City of Joburg’s Group Forensic and Investigation Services in partnership with Ombudsman and SAPS are making a call to the public in general to make use of information available to report and expose any suspicious activities in their area from bridging of electricity, illegal water connection to buildings/flats or properties that are hijacked, amongst others.
According to Lucky Sindane- director of strategic stakeholder management- Group Forensic and Investigation Services at CoJ – since this being an International Fraud Awareness Week, we decided to target Cosmo City for its synonymous with hijacking of properties and rented houses as the festive season fast approaches.
“For us as the City, this is a major concern hence we took it upon us to kick of the campaign in Cosmo City, a hotspot, to interact with the masses and educate them on how, where and why they should and must report any suspicious activity. This would help to minimise crime and or prevent it before being committed,” says Sindane.
“We also encourage our people to be smart by approaching us when battling with debts be it water or electricity instead of negotiating with unscrupulous agents or so called ‘city officials’ who claim they will write off the debt. As GFIS we’re here to help and negotiate the legal route,” asserted Sindane, who also pointed out they work in-tandem with other entities such Joburg Water, JMPD, City Power and others.
Residents (young and old) who came in droves for shopping also praised the CoJ for visiting and sharing important information especially since crime and stealing is rife in and around Cosmo City as festive season approaches.
Puleng Hlatshwayo- deputy director Communication and Media, Ombudsman Office- CoJ says as the ‘Public Protector’ on local government the fundamental objective of the Ombudsman was set up to look into complaints from service delivery point.
“As a Human Right matter our office seeks to protect residents of the City to ensure service delivery does reach them one way or the other. In simple terms- we are the last resort if one feels aggrieved or unhappy with the way he or she has been treated by any entity within the City in relation to service delivery,” says Hlatshwayo as the scotching sun took a toll on us.
Thembelani Lerara says he was not aware that there’s a department called Ombudsman in the City that focuses on resolving issues such as rental, properties and buildings, water and lights in the event the responsible departments fails or do not act timeously.
Mfundo Jali, from Kya Sands says the campaign would help him greatly from information gathered as illegal electricity connection is out of hand also mentioned that some people close to him were killed by electricity wires laid-bare in his own street.
Sindane says the ‘blitz’ will also roll out at other hotspots such as Inner City, Jhb South, Hillbrow and other areas in coming weeks.
At the time of publishing Capt Mpho Tshetlhane had not responded for a comment.
As indicated in my opening stanza, ‘beware the ides of the march’.
For more information visit www.joburg.org.za or Anti Fraud and Corruption Hotline: 0800 002 587 (Group Forensic and Investigation Service)
Ombudsman you can send WhatssApp to 081 365 0225 or Help Desk 010 288 2800
Image Jacob MAWELA (CoJ GFIS Lucky Sindane, middle -Captain Mpho Tshetlhane, SAPS Officers, Puleng Hlatshwayo, Ombudsman, far-right at the Cosmo City crime prevention campaign launch).