Subsequent to the frenzy caused by the recent robberies to malls and shopping centres, the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry held an anti-crime discussion yesterday morning, to find creative workable solutions that would enable a long term plan to end the scourge of crime

Durban united against crime dialogue was facilitated by the President of the Durban Chamber, Mr Zeph Ndlovu who outlined that it is a civic responsibility to help fight the scourge of crime. Ndlovu said “Durban was not alone, New York at one stage went through a phase similar to this and other big cities around the world”.

Mr Nhlanhla Mthethwa, the Deputy Chief of the Metro Police outlined the mandate of the Metro Police which was crime prevention, traffic enforcement and by-law enforcement. Mr Mthethwa highlighted that malls are treated as private property and Metro Police cannot intervene without a service level agreement between the City and those private entities, however Mthethwa assured the audience that as Durban Metro police, they will try to make sure that an attempt to engage with stakeholders is made for all malls that they do not have service level agreement with.  

Ensuring that they is visible policing was another issued that was discussed, Mthethwa said that the Metro Police will be undergoing a recruitment drive (recruiting 200 per year). This drive will aim to address issues of professionalism, establishing a code of conduct and reviewing and revising policies to address issues. In addition, he indicated that crime prevention first starts with communities addressing key issues.

Malls are a place of social gathering where family and friends meet, with people across all ages visiting daily. As such Business representatives of malls seemed to be in agreement with the notion that they would not allow their guards to carry guns, Kurt Hogan, general manager of Galleria Mall said they would not have armed guards at the centre, stating their ultimate responsibility is to their customers.

Ms Jabu Nkomo, Safety and Justice Chairperson of the Durban Chamber outlined that businesses needed to hold law enforcement agencies accountable. She went on to say that there needs to be communication and planning around business for such crimes. In addition, businesses should consider crime prevention methods/strategies. Through the safety and justice forum, the Chamber will continue the dialogue of fighting crime related issues affecting businesses and the wellbeing of staff.

Busting Crime and Grime is a key vision of the Durban Chamber therefore the Durban Chamber will continue to advocate for a City in which compliance with laws and regulations is the order of the day and all parts of the City are maintained at a high level. In addition, the Durban Chamber encourages business people and consumers to remain vigilant and on high alert against such criminal elements.