With drug abuse, vandalism and theft in Thornville in KwaZulu-Natal Midlands becoming more rampant, a partnership has been formed between the local police services; the community; and Tongaat Hulett to combat these issues.
This has resulted in a team known as ”Fighting against crime in Hopewell” being formed to encourage youth, schools and community members to be vigilant about crime-related incidents.
A Crime Awareness Day held at Argosy Hall in Hopewell near Thornville recently brought representatives of Tongaat Hulett, Hopewell SAPS, educators from Mount Pleasant Primary School and members of the community together to help tackle theft and vandalism in and around Hopewell.
“The partnership will address a wide range of issues including the consequences of theft charges and participation by schools and community leadership in the campaign to eliminate crime in the community,” said Nkonzo Mhlongo, Tongaat Hulett Socio-Economic Development Manager.
The “Fighting against crime in Hopewell” team will report to all stakeholders including Tongaat Hulett on the improvement of the rate of crime during their watch.
Mondli Ndlovu, an educator from Mount Pleasant Primary School in Hopewell said: “Community members are frustrated with the crime in the community and the theft of sugarcane which has been on-going for a while.
“We all need to work together to help eliminate theft in the area. Tongaat Hulett has had immense impact on the upliftment of the community by awarding bursaries to deserving learners and funding the local sports teams,” he said.
Michael Khoba, a member of the Hopewell Community Police Forum, said: “We are extremely grateful to Tongaat Hulett for their contribution towards the enrichment of the community as the organisation has strongly supported learners with bursaries and job opportunities through the sugarcane farm projects.
“Members of the community were advised to focus on all forms of theft. Learners were encouraged to educate other learners about the importance of agriculture in their community. The neighbouring farm provides employment to local residents and it would be a loss to the community if the theft of sugarcane rapidly increases.”
Florence Xaba, a representative from the Deputy Mayor’s Office, said: “The community thought of great ways to help ease the issue of sugarcane theft. The establishment of the ‘Fighting against crime in Hopewell’ team is a sustainable way of dealing with this community challenge.”