Cop response time down by 13 mins ‘thanks to Joburg clean sweep’

2013-11-08 08:51

Police response time has improved from 20 minutes to just less than seven minutes since the controversial ‘clean sweep’ campaign started in October, Joburg metro police’s Wayne Minnaar has said.

“The congestion in the CBD made it almost impossible for the police to do their jobs,” Minnaar explained.

“The operation seeks to address challenges such as illegal trading, illegal dumping and littering, illegal connection of infrastructure including theft of electricity, water and occupation of buildings in the city centre,” he said.

The campaign, ordered by the city and enforced by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department, will go ahead as planned while the particulars of displaced and out-of-business street traders are verified and they are issued with new permits.

The street traders will be allocated dedicated stalls once the verification process has been completed.

Minnaar cited statistics of the first month of the campaign as an indication of progress, even though organisations such as the African Traders Committee and the South African Informal Traders Forum see things differently.

Minnaar denied the operation was imposed on the street traders without consultation.

“All stakeholders were engaged prior to the campaign ... and are encouraged to work with the city and actively engage with its programmes such as the current ‘clean sweep’ initiative and many other initiatives,” said Minnaar.

“Clean sweep is a strategic intervention vehicle which seeks to tackle service delivery challenges in the inner city.

“It plays a supporting role to other city-wide programmes such as the integrated service delivery programme, ward-based planning and the Jo’burg Ten Plus programme concentrating on crime prevention, traffic policing and by-law compliance programmes.”

Minnaar argued the campaign was not intended to chase away street traders, but a way for the city to gain control over the area.

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