Muni job creation marred by vandalism

Recent acts of vandalism by car guards in the city have left many people having to replace the badges on their vehicles after it was removed.

POLOKWANE – The Community Policing Forum (CPF) in the city recently recruited several car guards in the city to assist them with crime prevention and despite the system working well initially, recent reports of vandalism have surfaced.

Read more: Car guards now foot soldiers in the fight against crime

These acts of vandalism, complainants claim, stem from instances where the car guards take off vehicle badges which they sell for money when they feel they weren’t paid enough by the people whose cars they minded or when their services were refused.

One of the victims of this vandalism stopped at a fast food outlet in Hans van Rensburg Street and after an altercation with a car guard found the badge was removed from her vehicle when she returned.

“When I saw the badge was removed I asked around and was told one of the older car guards removed the badge to punish me for not paying him. My workplace is in this street so I park here every day. I do not have the money to pay him and it is a public parking, not his as he claims,” the woman, who wanted to remain anonymous due to fear of vindication, told Review.

Hers was not an isolated case and Review found several people who have suffered the same fate.

Review spoke to one of the car guards, Johannes Nkomo, who explained looking after cars is the only source of income for most guards. This means people parking in areas they mind for long periods of time without paying them means they have fewer parking spaces to generate an income from.

“Not all the guards damage vehicles when they are not paid but there are those who do. To many, it is their sole income,” he said.

After involving the police some complainants had their vehicle badges returned but not everyone was so lucky.

You might also want to read: Car guard nightmare for Polokwane residents

Polokwane Police Spokesperson, WO Lesiba Ramoshaba, urged people to report these acts of vandalism to the police to help them pinpoint areas of concern.

He added that police, armed with a description of the perpetrator and where they work, can recover stolen property faster and prevent future crimes making the city safe for all.

Ramoshaba said people should take note if they are found with stolen items in their possession they can face criminal charges as by law they are just as guilty as the person who stole the item.

Polokwane Municipality Spokesperson, Matshidiso Mothapo, said there are plans in the future to gain a hold of the car guard situation in the city but the matter first needs to go through a process to be approved which includes the council accepting the matter and the municipal bylaws being fitted to the plan.

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Riana Joubert

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