Mayor hosts ‘safer cities’ programme

2016-03-23 06:00
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MAYOR, Cllr James Nxumalo, in his capacity as chairperson of the African Forum on Urban Safety (Afus), hosted a high level meeting with key stakeholders of the UN Habitat, Microsoft Corporation and the KZN provincial government recently.
The meeting was aimed at mapping a way for the implementation of crime-prevention and urban-safety strategies. It was also to set the agenda for the functionality of Afus in carrying out its mandate of ensuring safety and security in all cities within Africa.
Discussions on various topics relating to crime prevention and urban safety were held.
Nxumalo alluded to how crime poses a serious threat to the provision of services to the community.
“Not only does crime have an impact on the economic development of the city, it results in marginalised groups being prevented from enjoying services due to them.”
He said that safety, crime prevention and security are identified as the cornerstones for growth and development of all cities.
Deputy mayor of Quito in Ecuador, Daniela Chacon Arias, said it was important that cities learn from each other’s experiences because they all face similar challenges, in different degrees.
She commended eThekwini Municipality for spearheading the “safer cities” programme. Arias was part of the meeting to learn more about the strategies implemented by eThekwini Municipality in setting up the programme.
Dr Alioune Badiane, director of the programme division in the UN Habitat, said that Africa is now 54% urban. He listed the availability of energy­ as a prerequisite for safety and security in any particular city.
“Security is too important to be left in the hands of police alone. There needs to be a collaborative effort between all relevant parties in order to ensure a safe and secure environment for all.”
Resolutions taken at the meeting include:
• The initiation of an information collection exercise from local governments across Africa, using the Microsoft virtual facilities to translate and administer the questionnaire.
• To use the initiative by cities in West Africa to convene a sub-regional conference on city security in Dakar from 28-30 April, to consolidate information from cities for the Afus conference scheduled for 29 June to 1 July in Durban. - Supplied.

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