Nelson Mandela Bay gets its own ‘amapanyaza’ 

By Anita Dangazele

Following the lead of Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality has employed new crime wardens in the Gqeberha central business district to improve safety for residents, tourists and businesses.

However, unlike Gauteng’s “amapanyaza”, the metro’s 32 wardens are qualified security personnel, according to safety and security portfolio head Stag Mitchell.

He said the new wardens were trained on the city’s different by-laws.

“The officers have completed the necessary security training and are registered as security officers with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority,” Mitchell said.

“The initiative aims to deter crime in the respective areas and monitor the implementation of by-laws. Five by-law enforcement officers from our security division were deployed to accompany the new officers.”

The municipality said it had noticed increased crime in the city’s tourist destinations, where tourists were being targeted by criminals.

Mitchell said patrols and deployment would increase when cruise liners docked in the Bay to allow for tourists to be accompanied by the teams.

Priority areas had been identified as the Gqeberha CBD, City Hall precinct, Donkin Reserve, Fort Frederick, St George’s Park and other tourist areas.

“The visible patrollers aim to reinforce safety and security within our public spaces and to restore peace and stability. This will also enhance tourism and boost the economy of our metro,” he said.

“The issue of illegal trading, unlawful parking, vagrants and other by-law and crime-related concerns will be prioritised.”

Mitchell said the wardens had been hired through the Extended Public Works Programme.

On Sunday, the new safety wardens eagerly assumed responsibility. They have already issued eight warnings to illegal traders and confiscated dangerous weapons and drugs.

He said the guards would also be deployed in neighbouring Kariega and Despatch. For now, the officers have been assigned for five months.

Pictured above: The new NMBM safety and security wardens performing their duties on Sunday.

Image source: Supplied

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