Community vigilance and the use of social media is helping one of the oldest townships in the country to combat the scourge of crime.
The Langa Safety Patrol (LSP) was started last year after crime weary residents came together and declared “enough is enough”.
LSP chairman Bandile Gcuwa said since their group started patrolling the streets of Langa crime is “slowing down but there is a lot to be done”.
“Last year during the Roctober Festival we deployed our members and the event organiser Kenlow Matli is still singing our praises because we kept thugs on their toes,” Mr Gcuwa said.
To keep residents alert, Mr Gcuwa said they started a Facebook page which allows incidents to be reported as they happen.
“The response is amazing. We get quick leads and in most cases we arrest the culprits and after mild interrogation we send them to the police where criminal charges are pressed,” he said.
Mr Gcuwa said they were not a vigilante group that beats up suspects.
“Our main focus is the safety of our beloved township,” he added.
Another leading member of LSP, Vuyani Tshamlambo said because most of the culprits or amapharaphara seem to be “out of school youths” we have decide to “take them back to school by force”.
“We are following up on all amapharaphara that are willing to change their behaviour, attitudes and sending them back to school. It doesn’t matter which grade they quit school we place them at the St Francis ABET School,” said Mr Tshamlambo.
Mr Gcuwa said amapharaphara were targeting spaza shops and people returning from work.
“In January we have caught a few of these amapharaphara after they had robbed people of the cellphones.
We urge the community not to buy stolen goods because that creates a market for these thugs,” he said.
Residents have applauded LSP. Thulani Nofeliti said the group was doing wonderful work.
“They need all our support because they are cleaning our area,” he said.
Yolisa Nehanda also praised them on the Facebook page.