Report extortion

Business people. Pictured from left are Mcebisi Gatsho, from Mont Claire, Morrice Kok, Magreta Koopman, and Elizabeth Stemmet, all from Montrose Park.

Mitchell’s Plain business people were encouraged to report extortion and given tips on how to safeguard their services and goods at the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Khayelitsha/Mitchells Plain Chapter safety and security roadshow on business extortion at the Lentegeur civic centre, on Wednesday, September 13.

Supplies and service provider Magreta Koopman, from Montrose Park, said it was an “eye-opener” to what is happening behind the scenes and recognising why business processes should be in place.

“The work doesn’t stop there though. We have to engage with them (the chamber) to lobby for small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) to be successful tender recipients,” she said.

Ms Koopman acknowledged that many vandals were breaking down infrastructure and that they should be reported.

Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith condemned the recent threats and extortion attempts on City staff and contractors working at a public lighting project in Eerste River last week.

Teams and contractors had temporarily withdrawn from the area and returned once it was safe.

“We encourage residents to assist us by making use of our toll-free, tip-off line with information leading to arrests of anyone targeting City staff across the metro,” he said.

Anonymous tip-offs can be made by calling 080 011 0077.

A reward of R5 000 is offered when tip-offs lead to arrests.

SAPS metro cluster commander Major General Vincent Beaton explained that extortion consists of intentionally and unlawfully taking advantage of another person by subjecting that person to pressure which induces him or her to submit to the taking.

In May, the Beacon Valley housing project, which add more than 1 800 homes, was put on ice because it would cost more than a third of the R95-million budget just to protect the construction site (“‘Construction mafia’ delay housing project”, Plainsman May 24).

The project, located on Highlands Drive, Morgenster and Swartklip roads, was due to provide affordable housing opportunities, but it has been stalled by violence and intimidation on site. Two years ago, it was hit by four separate shooting incidents and two petrol bombings of construction machinery (“Violence halts construction of houses,” Plainsman July 14, 2021).

For emergencies or to report a crime, call 10111 or contact your nearest police station.

Brandon Weber, from Hope Africa Collective, Leon Livesey, from WasteBusters in Philippi East, Shamiel Kolbee, Gregory Benny, both from Alpha Business Park, Randall Morcom, and Kent Bowen, from Hope Africa Collective.
Avron Plaatjies, councillor for Ward 76, Ricardo Mackenzie, MEC for mobility, Linda Roopen Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khayelitsha/Mitchell’s Plain Chapter administrator and Tim Scholtz, chapter enterprise development manager.