The organisation known as Business Against Crime (BAC) was started in Maritzburg some years ago with the full support of the business community and Chamber, in particular. It was an independent section 21 company that used a name that had already identified similar organisations at national and provincial level and in other towns and cities. Under the leadership of Des Winship, and with the valuable financial support of several local companies BAC Pietermaritzburg undertook a number of projects. Many assisted the SAPS which, at the time, was badly under-resourced. It was BAC that initiated the so-called Safe City Project that is now being run so successfully by Safe City Msunduzi (Pty) Ltd which was established for the purpose.
It became increasingly obvious that the environment in which BAC was founded to operate had changed. SAPS, for example, is now much better resourced. Although crime remains a critical factor in local economic development, BAC had become somewhat distant from its original business base. Furthermore, the cost of operating as a separate entity with an office and staff proved increasingly unnecessary considering the nature of BAC’s work. To further compound the problem, the national office of BAC had embarked on a campaign to protect the brand by insisting that certain criteria should be met before a local organisation could call itself Business Against Crime. Since the local organisation had had no support from the national office, nor any connection, this was considered unpalatable.
In order to deal with the changed circumstances and to ensure that the objectives of the organisation would be perpetuated, it was agreed by both the Board of BAC and the Executive Committee of the PCB that BAC Pietermaritzburg should be disbanded and a newly-constituted Business Fighting Crime (BFC) (not a section 21 company) returned to the business fold through the Chamber.
The pay for parking initiative was strongly advocated by BFC proving that approximately R44m has been lost over the years due to no parking meters.
BFC has over the years supported the Police and various other crime fighting organisations. They also co-ordinate a Banking Forum where all the banks together with the malls and the cash-in-transit and customs get together to discuss and iron out problems. They are also closely linked to the metal forum meetings to find ways to reduce the theft of cables.
The latest initiative, Keep Street Children off the Streets Forum, which is supported by various non-government organisations and the Municipality, is just another way of fighting crime in our city.
The PCB supplies the necessary administrative support, thereby reducing costs, and the co-ordination of lobbying and advocacy. At the same time, BFC is directly accessible to the members of the Chamber.
Please be aware that criminals are now targeting people withdrawing money from Capitec ATM’s in the city. It however does not mean that other bank ATM’s are safe. Please be very careful when withdrawing money from an ATM especially those where there is no security. If you suspect something is wrong then walk away or if your card is “swallowed” please phone the emergency number displayed on the ATM. Remain at the ATM until the operator informs you that your card has been cancelled.
TIPS AT AN ATM
1) Visit the ATM that you are familiar with.
2) Do not accept any form of assistance from strangers even security guards.
3) Do not expose your pin code to anyone.
4 ) Do not be distracted by the suspects – step away and let them leave.
5) Check the ATM if all the lights are working where you insert your card.
6) Don’t visit the ATM very early or late in the afternoon.
7) Don’t give your pin to friends and family to draw with your cards for you.
8) Report stolen or lost cards immediately to your respective bank.
IN THE CBD
1) Do not have your windows or doors open.
2) Do not display any of your possessions on your seat of your car.
3) Be extra careful at robots and standing in traffic. Do not be distracted.
4) Don’t talk on your phones whilst stationery in traffic.
5) Women drivers and pedestrians are soft targets – don’t be a victim.
6) Don’t wear all your gold chains and rings to work – keep them for functions.
7) Be careful when withdrawing large sums of cash – take someone with you.
8) Don’t fall for scams regarding dropped/found money on the floor.
9) Be careful for bogus cops in the cbd – money scam – don’t jump into their cars.
10) Don’t be caught by the so-called faith healers – they only want your money. You cannot win the lotto – they cannot double your money – they cannot get cars and houses.
GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES
1) Don’t fall into the trap of quick rich scams- before paying any money check with the FINANCIAL SERVICES BOARD (021 428 800/021 428 8176) if the so-called Company is registered with them for conducting business.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS:
Tomlinson Mnguni James
Natal Rubber Compounders
If you would like to make a donation the banking details for BFC are:
Bank: FNB Boom Street
Branch Code: 221325
Account No: 62077527144
The Safe City Msunduzi (Pty) Ltd is dedicated to making the City of Pietermaritzburg a better place in which we can all live, work and play. The partnership includes key players such as:
The safety of our city is everyone’s responsibility. It cannot be left to a few, to somebody else. Everyone needs to get involved. You can play a critical role. By reporting what you see, you will help to reduce crime even further.
What kind of activity are we talking about? Here are some examples:
When you have information sms it to 083 767 7233/SAFE