The City of Johannesburg is taking tough measures to protect motorists from aggressive window washers and smash and grabs which have steadily increased at some intersections in recent months.
Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Public Safety, Councillor Sello Lemao, on Wednesday unveiled Operation Ke Molao – an initiative by the Johannesburg Metro Police to protect motorists at identified hotspots.
The operation is aimed at dealing with lawlessness in various problematic intersections and bridges, reports the City of Joburg.
“Over the past few months, we have witnessed a disturbing trend marked by a sharp increase in illegal activities around certain main traffic intersections in our City. These include smash and grabs, window washing, selling of illegal goods, vending and begging. The activities are not only illegal according to both the national traffic and criminal legislation but also illegal according to bylaws.”
Lemao said the high prevalence of these activities had turned motorists into targets for theft, assault, robbery and harassment.
“We cannot have a situation where motorists are attacked for their valuables whilst waiting for traffic signals, getting onto onramps and even on the freeways during traffic jams.”
To intensify the operation, the City will be working with the SAPS, Gauteng Traffic Department and private security agencies, while officers are deployed to the identified hotspots in marked and unmarked vehicles.
Alluding to homeless people living under bridges, Lemao said the city’s Social Development Department would assist in cases of vagrants and those in desperate need of social welfare. He further aised motorists to remain alert and desist from using cellphones and other devices which may distract them while driving.
For now, the operation will be limited to intersections that have been identified as hotspots.
Chief of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD), Zwelibanzi Nyanda, said: “There will never be enough manpower to address the problems in our City… we have many problematic intersections in the City, that’s why in our operational plan we have identified a few that we are going to initially deal with. After we have dealt with the identified sections, we will continue to identify others”.
According to Chief Nyanda, the programme will be led by a specialised unit.
He said the regional JMPD units will only maintain the intersections and arterial routes, once they have been stabilised by the specialised unit.
Source : SAnews.gov.za