The Diepkloof community, in Soweto, has come together and formed street committees following the incidents of crime spiralling out of control in the area.
Wits Radio Academy’s Ishmael Sibeko says the move is aimed at creating a safe environment for working residents who get up for work in the early hours and come back late in the evenings.
The residents are hoping that this will also help them avoid taking the law into their own hands, as some of them have previously done.
Police have welcomed the move, calling on residents to work together by reporting crime.
Street committee members work on voluntary basis.
The concept dates back to the apartheid era.
The committees are credited with having been instrumental in bringing down the oppressive regime as they mobilised communities towards a common purpose in protest against that era’s unjust laws.
They had fizzled out after the dawn of democracy.
However, various communities across the country have revived the strategy to increase safety.
The committees are referred to as block watches in other areas.
Among other attributes needed in committee members are integrity, professionalism and a proven focus on the interest of the community rather than individual goals. – Reporty by Ishmael Sibeko and picture credit: sowetocapturedd.blogspot.com