The crime rate in Beitbridge is now a threat to council’s revenue collection efforts and should be addressed as a matter of urgency, acting town clerk, Loud Ramakgapola has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Ramakgapola told Southern Eye in an interview that the high crime rate in the border town was a cause for concern and should be addressed soon.
“When I look at Beitbridge, it’s a town that operates 24 hours and the lifestyle of people is determined by the border post, which does not close. As a result, people in Beitbridge want to conduct business 24 hours,” he said.
“And what has happened of late is that there has been lots of criminal activities, particularly in the townships, and that has disturbed the flow of life for people in Beitbridge because there are people who want to operate 24 hours.
“Even for us council, we also collect money 24 hours from those who are trading at night and from buses that come into our rank during the night; we don’t stop, but all that may be lost because people now fear the criminals around the town.”
Ramakgapola said robbers were targeting taxi drivers, money changers, as well as businesses in the city.
“There are lots of taxi operators in Beitbridge and they are also being targeted and what it means then if taxis do not provide service to the people, people would be exposed because they will have to walk and further exposing them while the taxis again have to be careful who hires them. It’s something that we as council we are concerned about,” he said.
Ramakgapola said the crimes were violent. “People are mugged and in some instances killed or injured and so on. It’s not the petty crimes that you find. Its looks like all those people are looking mainly for money,” he said.
“They are looking for money, they are hunting for money and they are dangerously looking for it.”
He said the police were trying their best to bring sanity to the city and hoped things would normalise.