To augment the KZN Provincial Government’s crime prevention efforts and crime-fighting interventions in rural areas, KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Bheki Ntuli together with KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka signed a protocol agreement with the KZN Provincial House of Traditional Leaders under the leadership of Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza at the Old Legislature Building in Ulundi today.
The protocol agreement seeks to promote efficient and effective police service delivery and crime prevention in the province. Extensive consultations with all relevant stakeholders on the content of the protocol agreement have been undertaken prior to today’s ceremony. This has resulted in the consensus that cooperation and collaboration be formalised through the signing of the protocol agreement.
MEC Ntuli said that the safety of rural communities and the need to grow the agricultural economy remain key priorities for the Provincial Government. In recent months, several high-profile murders of amakhosi and izinduna have been reported in addition to numerous incidents of abuse of farm workers and high levels of stock and crop theft throughout KZN.
“Over and above the loss of life and immediate human suffering, the lack of security and stability in our rural and farming community causes serious disruption to our economy. Through the implementation of the National Rural Safety Strategy, we remain committed to ending the violent killings of amakhosi and izinduna in our province. The rural crime prevention initiatives also include stock theft, farm killings, initiation schools, rhino poaching and uKuthwala (human trafficking),” said Ntuli.
Ntuli also said that specific roles and responsibilities have been outlined in the protocol agreement, which includes an implementation plan. “We believe that the protocol agreement between the two departments and the Provincial House of Traditional Leaders will foster cooperation and collaboration with amakhosi, recognising them as key stakeholders in the pursuit of building a united front against crime and the provincial imperative of “Growing KwaZulu-Natal Together,” added Ntuli.
MEC Hlomuka has hailed the signing of the protocol agreement as a turning point in the government’s efforts to fight the scourge of crime in rural communities. Chairperson of the Provincial House, Inkosi Chiliza, has similarly committed the House to working together with all stakeholders through the protocol agreement to ensure safety in rural communities. “As amakhosi, we will be working closely with our communities to promote active citizenry in the fight against crime,” said Chiliza.