Chamber starts new anti-crime watchdog

2012-11-13 00:00

“SAY no more to crime” was the united cry of an impressive gathering of businessmen, ratepayers, government employees and high ranking police on Friday night at a gala dinner held by the South Coast Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Organiser and president of the chamber, Dr Peter Munns, says the function was the first of its kind.

Hibiscus Coast mayor, Cynthia Mqwebu, joined the crowd who rallied against crime.

“This is a very significant occasion and matter close to our hearts,” she said. “Crime lives under our beds, in our fridges and in our toilets. Although the general crime statistics may have declined slightly, I get so angry because of the violence that is now associated with crime.

“When a robbery happens then vulnerable members of society like old people and children are hurt,” said Mqwebu.

She embraced the theme of the evening which was for all businesses and the community to come together and stand united against crime by saying: “All stakeholders from government to business, and the people need to hold hands and be together in this fight that can no longer be ignored.”

Munns addressed about 240 guests, which included South Coast businesses, church groups and most community policing forums from as far as Amanzimtoti.

“We can no longer rely on tourism alone for our revenue as crime affects the tourism industry, but also all the little businesses which feed off the tourists.

“Businesses on the South Coast are the lifeblood which need to keep feeding this area in terms of offering employment and sustaining our local economy,” said Munns.

He said evidence of the impact of crime was now being seen in the lack of local and international investment not only nationally, but also on the South Coast.

By joining the chambers of commerce and industry, businesspeople would be able to stand together and have a strong united voice, said Munns.

“I like to think of it (the chamber) as a gateway and a voice for all businesspeople.

“We are taking a lead in the role against crime by looking after businesses, and acting as a watchdog.

“People must remember that you lose the right to complain if you don’t vote, so rather join the fight for what is right,” said Munns.

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