Safe City at the Show

2015-06-10 06:01

SAFE City will be using its annual exhibition at the Royal Agricultural Show to relaunch and further promote its new Facebook page following the closure of the group almost a month ago and subsequently losing touch with about 3 600 members in the community.

Lucas Holtzhausen, Safe City general manager, said that they continue to keep in touch with their followers via the new Safe City Msunduzi Facebook page and have received positive feedback from the community.

“Followers were getting fed up with the senseless comments posted and many of the older followers threatened to leave the old group if I did not do something about the negative and irrelevant comments made. I still get messages from followers regarding matters. It might be less, but it is more quality stuff,” he said.

The main reason for Safe City starting the group, which began in 2011, was to inform residents of crime tendencies, gatherings, and marches and to share crime prevention tips ensuring the safety of residents at all times.

“In the beginning it worked very well, but as the group grew I found that comments were being made which was detrimental to our cause. Racial, political and derogatory remarks were made against certain individuals, political leaders and others and as a group administrator, I could be held liable for defamation of character,” said Holtzhausen.

This meant that Holtzhausen needed to constantly monitor what is been posted on the group and edit unsavoury remarks.

“It became too much to manage myself and before closing the group I asked the opinion of several trusted followers and they were all in agreement that I should close the group and start a page. It was a sad day for me.”

Holtzhausen closed the group and opened a page that is more manageable for him.

He emphasised the role of Safe City which is there to, in conjunction with the SAPS and other law enforcement agencies, ensure the safety of Pietermaritzburg residents.

“We will post any information that is relevant in this regard. We also want to appeal to the public to assist law enforcement agencies in reporting crime. By keeping silent they are in fact collaborating with criminals.”

Crime must be reported to the SAPS, but suspicious incidents can be reported to Safe City by sending an SMS to 083 767 7233. Remember - who, what, where, when, why and how when reporting any incident.

Updated emergency numbers from Msunduzi Municipality

• Fire department – 0800 033 911

• Traffic control – 033 392 2945

• Essential services call centre – 0800 001 8686 (water, sanitation, roads, drainage, electricity, traffic lights)

• Switchboard – 033 392 3000

• Finance call centre – 033 392 2980

• Meter readings – 033 392 2554

• Parks department – 033 392 3500

• Waste department – 033 392 5359

The fire department, traffic control and the essential services call centre operate 24 hours, seven days a week. The switchboard, finance call centre, meter readings, parks and waste departments operate during business hours, not on weekends or after hours

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