Zuurbekom, in Westonaria, west of Gauteng is dealing with high criminal activity since the closure of the police station. The community used to have a functioning police station over three years ago. Due to delays on the renovations by the municipality, it has not opened since. The matter was not taken seriously, and crime got worse each day.
Every plot in Zuurbekom has about two hectors of land, meaning that the houses are scattered and isolated. There is only one working apollo light and no street lights, which makes the streets very dark at night. The area is in between two informal settlements; Bekkersdal and Waterworks.
Zuurbekom is an agricultural town. It has about five branches of well-known churches in South Africa. But that has not stopped the town from experiencing high criminal activity, which the community always complains about in the community meetings. Nothing is done about the closed police station.
Due to the lack of public lighting, the town is a good hiding place for criminals. The yards are big, and the houses are always locked. When you want to report a crime, you have to do it at the Bekkersdal Police Station, but because of the distance, response is very slow.
The community gets mugged in the streets when they go and come back from work. House break-ins are an everyday thing because when people go to work criminals hide in the fields waiting for their chance to break-in and steal.
Ever since the police station was closed, Zuurbekom has been a play ground for criminals. The community has since decided to create their own neighbourhood watch group on WhatsApp to update their neighbours about community safety.
This article was submitted on 14 November 2020. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.