Government visits KZN hotspots

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Durban – Ministers in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster say they are confident that the upcoming general election will be conducted in a peaceful environment in KwaMashu and Wembezi in KwaZulu-Natal.

The two areas were identified as hotspots by the cluster earlier this year due to incidents of violence.

The ministers’ visit is part of efforts to bring peace and stability to areas affected by crime and violent protests. The delegation visited KwaMashu township and C-section in Wembezi, Escourt. This is the first in a series of visits across the country to address any challenges that may arise ahead of the elections.

The delegation comprised the Ministers of Police Nathi Mthethwa, Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, State Security Dr Siyabonga Cwele, National Police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega, Secretary of Defence Dr Samson Gulube and the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Advocate Pansy Tlakula. 

On arrival in KwaMashu, they were briefed by various stakeholders, including the Provincial Joints Operations Centre, about the situation in the area. The delegation did a walkabout at KwaMashu hostels, where they interacted with the locals, who used the opportunity to raise their concerns on several issues.

Addressing the media after the walkabout, Minister Mthethwa said he was confident that the elections in the area will be conducted peacefully.

“People have indicated willingness in working with government,” he said, assuring the locals that there will be adequate security to allow them to vote in a safe environment.

Minister Mthethwa reaffirmed government’s message that there will be zero tolerance for incidents of violence, intimidation and public disorder. At a briefing in Pretoria last week, the minister said measures had been put in place across the country to ensure free and fair elections.

He further emphasised that every South African, wherever they are in the country, should be free to go out and vote without any fear.

The delegation visited Wembezi after KwaMashu. An atmosphere of calm prevailed during the visit, with residents expressing their hopes for the May 7 national and provincial elections.

Hostel resident Sibusiso Zwane told SAnews that he was looking forward to casting his vote.

"I can’t wait to cast my vote," he said.

Many shared his sentiments, saying they were going to vote in May, as they wanted government to keep improving their lives.

The ministers expressed their satisfaction with the level of preparedness of the IEC. They were also satisfied with the fact that the police are taking action and making arrests arising from political intolerance and criminal activities.

The National Prosecuting Authority has prioritised such cases and has also assigned experienced prosecutors to attend to these, and ensure that justice is served swiftly.

The IEC says 25 390 150 voters are eligible to cast their votes come May 7. This will be the fifth election since the dawn of democracy in 1994. South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom and democracy this year. –

Most Read

SA News on Facebook

SAnews on Twitter