Operation ke Molao – yay or nay?

2015-02-27 06:54

In recent months we have heard horror stories or may have even been victim to some form of harassment, intimidation, and even criminality by window-washers and beggars at various intersections in and around the City of Johannesburg, most notably at the Grayston, Marlboro and Empire Road off-ramps.

Understandably, these intersection occupants are fighting their very own economic battles and are trying to earn a living. But when these individuals engage in unlawful acts and persist in unwarranted behaviour, this calls for police intervention.

Some of our traffic light windshield washing menaces, especially in Sandton, go to the extent of forcing the issue of washing your windscreen whether you want them to or not. And if not compensated, they resort to dirtying your window, spitting on and kicking your car or even breaking the wipers or side mirrors.

Motorists are therefore subjected to unnecessary financial consequences by having to repair any damages caused to their vehicles and for any losses incurred through Smash & Grabs by individuals supposedly, “keeping intersections spotless and crime free.”

Now I am all for giving charity to those less fortunate, but these incidents make one think twice about opening their windows to these individuals for fear of being robbed inter alia.

Operation ke Molao is an initiative by the City of Johannesburg to rid Johannesburg’s traffic intersections of window-washers, beggars and hawkers. The rationale behind this is that these individuals contribute to unsafe traffic intersections, resulting in Smash & Grabs and other crimes.

This operation is backed by LEAD SA, and since its inception at least 122 individuals have been removed from the street by the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).

The South African National Traders Alliance (SANTRA) however believes this initiative to be unsustainable, and while I agree that this is merely a temporary solution, until something more concrete is put into place, I believe Operation ke Molao will at least be able to keep some motorists safe on the roads.

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