Bringing back glitter to the City of Gold

Everson Luhanga

Dysfunctional speed cameras, littering, trading in unauthorised areas and criminality in different forms are among the major challenges the City of Johannesburg faces.

But David Tembe, the MMC for public safety, said they are making massive progress in reclaiming the city back from criminals, as well as from people who flout the city’s by-laws.

In recent weeks, a large number of metro police in different areas of the city have been enforcing by-laws in what they call the Buya Mthetho (bring back the rule of law) Operation.

There have been pictures and videos on social media platforms showing how clean the city is.

Tembe said the city has also seen metro police confiscating goods and demolishing hawker structures erected in the wrong places and without trading permits.

“Operation Buya Mthetho is a joint operation between all key city departments and entities such as the JMPD, Environmental Health, Social Development, Infrastructure Services, the city’s Legal Department, and Development Planning, to name but a few.”

He said Joburg employed 1,800 officers in the inner city in February and has increased the number of officers in all regions of the city.

Tembe also touched on the recent scourge of mass shootings. “Due to the fact that we recently had a lot of drive-by shootings, we have introduced 22, 44, 88 police points day and night as our crime prevention strategy, where we stop and search vehicles for compliance on the roads.”

Mathokoza Kgaswane, director in the office of the JMPD chief, said some of the challenges they are facing are speed cameras which are not working everywhere.

“We are working hard to make sure we conclude our contract with new service providers to have the speed cameras back on the roads.

“The city is losing money for not having them work. However, we have officers who are enforcing the laws of the road,” said Kgaswane.

He said the police have so far made several arrests, including of people driving with false licences, failing to stop after officers’ instructions, possessing illegal firearms as well as hijackers and so far 1,844 drunk drivers.

Tembe said their working relationships with SAPS and other law enforcement agencies like security companies have been good at fighting crime in the city.