Mayor Kaunda supports PRASA initiative to curb crime

ETHEKWINI Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda has pledged his full support and commitment to ensure the success of PRASA’s People Responsibility to Protect initiative. The initiative is aimed at promoting stakeholder participation to protect the public entity’s assets and infrastructure to eliminate acts of criminality and vandalism of the rail network. The initiative, launched on 30 March at the Durban Station, will create opportunities for women and youth-owned co-operatives in areas such as cleaning and maintenance of stations as well as construction. The initiative elevates the stakeholder’s responsibility in protecting public assets for both PRASA and Transnet rail infrastructure, rail reserves and network as well as the prevention of crime in the rail environment. The focus of the intervention seeks to manage this downward spiral resulting from rampant criminality through the implementation of crime prevention strategies, working with communities and stakeholders. Mayor Kaunda said criminality continued to ravage the railway environment which undermined the efforts to modernise the commuter rail system and delivery of a service that is safe, reliable and affordable. “When a cable is stolen resulting in delays, the worker who loses a job as a result, is somebody’s parent or sibling. It must never elude us that the people who suffer the consequences of this brazen criminality are the poor who cannot afford other mode of public transport to get to work,” he said. The initiative also entails the training of volunteers who will be deployed in the different corridors and stations. Each station will have about

20 volunteers and the initiative will be implemented in five phases. PRASA Chairperson of the Board of Control, Leonard Ramatlakana said a collaboration with all spheres of government will ensure the eradication of criminal activities. “For PRASA to deliver services on time to the community, there has to be a partnership will all stakeholders. A major challenge faced by the public entity is vandalism which we need to eradicate and by working with communities, we are certain that the initiative will be effective,” he said.