Angela Rivers talks crime on eNCA

Following the letter JPOMA sent to City of Johannesburg officials appealing for support to address escalating crime in Hillbrow, Berea and the Inner City, Angela Rivers appeared on eNCA on 8 December 2022.

Urgent Appeal to CoJ to Address Crime in the Inner City

Honoured Associates
Our collective hope in sending out this communication, is that it will focus your attention on the urgent matter of
the: –
Increased and Rampant crime in Hillbrow, Berea and the Surrounding InnerCity Areas

Over the last few months we have seen a disturbing and substantial increase in crime within Hillbrow, Berea and
the Surrounding Inner City Areas.

The crimes have escalated to a level of total insurrection. They are inhumane and result in plundering, theft and
atrocious acts of physical abuse and murder.

This behaviour was, in the past, largely community based and even though terrifying to law abiding residents,
they still felt protected by the policing mechanisms in place. This has now become a thing of the past as police
officers and security personnel are being attacked and murdered in cold blood, on the streets in full view of the
community including children.

Stepping in is now a matter of urgency as this anarchic behaviour has left the communities with no hope of
protection and created a culture of fear, trauma and loss.

Owing to our close relationship with the various security companies in the area, we know that the official
published statistics are totally inaccurate and a complete misrepresentation of the true statistics published by
the government and serve as a non-disclosure of what is actually happening on the ground:

In the official Police Recorded Crime Statistics – Second Quarter (July to September) Hillbrow Police Station is
not included in the list of “Top 30 Community-Reported Serious Crimes” which, in our opinion, is not possible
considering what we see on a daily basis.

Daily robberies, mass shootings, murders and the like are occurring every day. There is a huge discrepancy
between what is happening and what is reported.

In our opinion, the reasons why statistics are not readily available could be in order not to further alarm the
residents. Including residents who live in surrounding suburbs as the possibility of this anarchic violence
spreading forms a related threat.

Residents are, in addition, reluctant to report crime, owing to understaffed police stations, long queues, victim
blaming, and an apparent total lack of support from police as they themselves have become victims too, and
fear in serving the community within police stations abounds.

You will agree that hiding the fact of illegal, criminal and illicit activity serves only as whitewashing until such
time as the next rain falls.

The hijacked properties in the area have become safe havens for violent, cold blooded criminals who actively
and transparently continue their activities with evident impunity.

Tenants are being attacked while moving between public transport to work and home.
The environment in which criminal behaviour thrives manifests in fear, poverty and the erosion of the human

Adjoining buildings suffer as tenancies drop, forcing upstanding paying tenants out of the city. Criminal
behaviour, including public drinking, drug dealing, shootings and muggings, are rife in the street around these properties, and despite best efforts responsible landlords cannot guarantee the safety of tenants or security companies.

Some Insight:
The City’s Casa Mia has been singled out as being the place of the most vicious behaviour. On Saturday 19
November 2022 at 02h30, 2 security officers were murdered there:

The report received:
“…it’s alleged that deceased number 1 was employed by VIP Lounge as a security guard. According to
witnesses six (6) African males approached him and one of them shot the security officer multiple times and
took his firearm and fled east in Pretoria Street.

“The Bad Boyz security officer posted at The Summit Club at Claim and Pretoria Street witnessed the shooting
incident and called for backup. Suspects were followed to Abel and Fife Street, Berea.

The suspect was now standing at the entrance of Casa Mia and fired a single round at the marked Bad Boyz
response bakkie. The round struck the windscreen wiper and deflected upwards into the windscreen and struck
the second deceased in the chest.”

Two of so many more senseless deaths and the numbers are rising every day!
Bad Boyz has confirmed that there are notably too many criminals in the area in comparison to the number of
JMPD, SAPS and Private Security Companies being deployed. Security is appallingly outnumbered by

We addressed a letter to MMC David Tembe on the 14 September 2022 of which we received no response. A
follow up email was sent to the MMC on 28 November 2022 and his PA advised that the Acting Chief of Police
Mr Khanyile will deal with these issues. We took this as a dismissal as our grievances were not addressed and
we were not informed as to when or how said issues would be dealt with.

To date nothing has been done and we suspect that this has been put on the back burner yet again.
It’s not good enough, LIVES ARE BEING LOST DAILY – we need immediate active intervention.
The City Improvement Districts are applying their resources, albeit minimal, and in addition, currently funding
and deploying private security companies and cleaners to try and ensure that community residents are

This is however unsustainable given that it is a massive undertaking with demands that grow on a daily basis.
They need assistance from the SAPS, JMPD, City Councillors, The Mayor and The Premier to step up to the
plate and together, form a unified policing team with a common objective in mind.

Hillbrow and Berea are high density residential communities. They are the “working class or poor people living
from hand to mouth”. The demographic that society keeps verbally throwing empty promises at, but sadly they
are left to live with intimidation, squalor and constant fear for their lives and the lives of their children.

We need urgent intervention and assistance. Crime spreads like a dreaded disease and if something drastic and
decisive is not done urgently, we could end up losing control of some of the most important parts of the inner

Our wish is to work with The City, we have resources on the ground and if we work together, it will
benefit all.

Together – We hope to put a plan of action into place and to implement this plan in collaboration with you and all
other possible relevant officials.

We suggest that the only way we will save our city is if:
Hijacked buildings are urgently and decisively dealt with by inclusion of the Private Sector;

  1. More visible policing by JMPD and SAPS which is also deployed more efficiently;
  2. By-law enforcement, especially around illegal traders, bars and taverns operating after business
    hours, drinking and people doing drugs in public;
  3. Broken street lights need to be fixed immediately;
  4. Regular day/night raiding operations need to intensify;
  5. Cross border transporters (illegal bus depots and ranks) need to be checked for permits and
    licenses and closed down if not compliant and relocated
  6. Homelessness needs very serious and immediate intervention;
  7. Bi-weekly meeting with all departments to track progress of plans;

    We implore you, for the sake of our people, our children, our beloved country and our city to help us by putting
    our heads together and making a concerted effort to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    It is only through our committed and consistent collaboration that this mammoth challenge can be overcome.

    Kind regards,

    By Courtesy of the Members of the following organisations:
    Johannesburg Property Owners and Managers Association
    Hillbrow eKhaya City Improvement District
    LeGae La Rona City Improvement District
    Johannesburg Homelessness Network
    Urban Space Management
    Gauteng Precinct Management Association

Sent 7 December 2022