The Gauteng MEC of economic development, Nkosiphendule Kolisile, has raised his concerns about the increase in murders and violent crime in the Muldersdrift area
Departmental spokesperson Phindile Kunene said the area had been the scene of violent crimes and murders and it had experienced two murders in the past two weeks.
“There have been armed robberies with residents being severely wounded. In general, there is apprehension about the safety of the community as a whole,” said Kunene
Muldersdrift, in Mogale City, has experienced horrific crimes. The area, in particular the Cradle of Humankind, plays an important role in the economy of the region.
“The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site is increasingly popular as a site for ongoing scientific research, investigation and tourist destination.
“Surrounding communities have benefited from jobs, SMME tourism business, skills development and related opportunities created in the area,” said Kunene
“The government has invested millions of rands in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site project and the impact is quite significant on the GDP and in creating jobs”.
Kunene said serious crimes such as murder and house robberies impacted on jobs created by tourism.
“Crime is detrimental to business activity, especially tourism. The concern is that we may see a decline in visitor numbers as a result of these crimes.
“Less visitor numbers means that the people who directly and indirectly provide services to the tourism industry in the area will be adversely affected.
“Suppliers, hospitality staff, people who sell arts and crafts will all be affected,” said Kunene
Kunene said there were great opportunities in Muldersdrift and surrounding areas.
“There is expected growth in employment opportunities and by 2015 it is expected that tourism expenditure will generate 6563 employment opportunities.
“Eighty-five percent of the abovementioned opportunities will be created in Gauteng while the remaining share of 15% are expected in the neighbouring North West province.
“This means tourism, leisure and related business operations are the lifeblood of the area. The socio-economic consequences would be huge.”
Kunene said the department recognised efforts by the police and the Gauteng department of community safety to secure the safety of residents in the area.
“We have urged the community as well as business to work together with the government to stem the tide against these crimes.”