Manzini Municipality, Police Team Up Towards Peaceful, Safe Festive
The Municipal Council of Manzini, together with the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS), have teamed up and agreed on an action plan that seeks to ensure citizens enjoy a peaceful and safe festive season. Subsequent to a series of engagements wherein critical issues that usually cause discomfort to citizens during this time of the year were discussed, the two partners agreed on interventions relating to general public safety and security, alleviation of traffic congestion, illegal parking, noise pollution as well as enforcement of Covid-19 regulations.
- PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY
The Municipality and Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) will during the festive season be carrying out regular city patrols that will also cover the city centre. Police officers have been deployed in all entry/exit points to the city as well as other strategic areas to guard against the occurrence of crime. The police have also been deployed at the main bus rank and in selected shopping centres. Kwekwe Security Rangers, a private security company that has been contracted by the Municipality to patrol the city, is also on the ground conducting patrols. Members of the public are urged not to hesitate to approach any police officer or Kwekwe security ranger whenever they see something suspicious. Alternatively, you can contact the police’s Manzini Operations Officer on 7603 4084 or the Municipality’s Public Order and Security Supervisor on 7635 6787.
The Municipality further implores residents to ensure safety of their properties during the festive season. According to the police, records show that house-breaking incidents nowadays occur even during daytime. Therefore, it is not advisable to leave one’s property unguarded. Those who will be departing to spend the festive season in various destinations are reminded to ensure that they take all necessary safety precautions in order to protect their residences from crime. The Royal Eswatini Police Service’s Crime Prevention Department is always willing to share safety tips. Residents are implored to contact them for advice.
- TRAFFIC CONGESTION
Evidence shows that traffic congestion is inevitable in a bustling and fast developing city like the City of Manzini. However, the situation becomes worse when the city centre gets to be ‘infested’ with horse-and-trailer delivery trucks during daytime. The joint team, comprising Manzini Municipality and the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS), therefore takes this opportunity to remind the business sector that horse-and-trailer delivery trucks are not allowed in the city centre during daytime. The only time they are allowed is during off-peak hours; these being between 6pm and 6am. In the event there is a need for deliveries to be made during daytime, the business sector is encouraged to make use of smaller 8-ton trucks; which manoeuvre easily in the city centre. Any horse-and-trailer truck that will be found on the city centre streets during daytime will be handled accordingly by traffic police.
- VEHICLES TO BE CLAMPED FOR ILLEGAL PARKING
Experience shows that illegal parking in the city is rife during the festive season. Illegal parking refers to parking of a vehicle in areas that are undesignated for parking; including pavements (walkways) yellow lines, zebra crossings and loading zones. Eswatini Parking, a private company that is contracted by the Municipality to manage paid parking in the city centre, has the right to clamp vehicles that are found to be parked in such areas; and for one to have the vehicle unclamped they are required to pay an admission-of-guilt fine with the Royal Eswatini Police Service plus a release fee (E80) that goes to Eswatini Parking. Delivery trucks are also not permitted to park on undesignated parking or delivery zones. Shops that do not have designated delivery zones are encouraged to approach Eswatini Parking and agree on delivery arrangements. Placing of objects such as shopping baskets and trolleys in order to block a parking bay is not permitted. Anyone found doing so will be taken to task in terms of the law.
- LOITERING CONTINUES TO BE FORBIDDEN
The Covid-19 regulation that forbids loitering in the city still applies. Loitering, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, refers to standing or waiting somewhere especially with no obvious reason. Anyone found loitering in the city streets or public parks or any open space will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Citizens are urged to continue staying home as much as possible and only come to the city when there is a need to do so. Wearing of face masks at all times when in the city also continues to be an expectation for all citizens visiting the city. Anyone found walking about without a face mask will be arrested. Physical distancing and avoidance of crowds is also encouraged in order to suppress the spread of Covid-19; which continues to be a threat to citizens’ lives.
- JOINT OPERATION AGAINST NOISE, ILLEGAL LIQUOR TRADE, BUSH MECHANICS
As part of a commitment to ensure peace during the festive season, the Municipal Council of Manzini and the Royal Eswatini Police Service (REPS) will soon embark on a joint operation that seeks to clamp down on issues of noise pollution, illegal selling of alcoholic beverages as well as illegal motor vehicle mechanics. These are some of the issues that continue to confront the city, in the process compromising the prevalence of peace and comfort amongst citizens. Joint raids will be conducted on residences that illegally sell alcoholic beverages and anyone caught will be arrested. Residents are urged to notify the police whenever they spot anyone selling alcoholic beverages illegally. Legal liquor establishments will also be monitored to ensure they observe the hours of operation as per the Covid-19 regulations. Furthermore, noise emanating from liquor establishments, private residences and churches will be dealt with accordingly.
Citizens are urged to continue reporting noise through the Municipality’s 24/7 Call Centre (800 2004/2505 7000). Even during night time there is a response team that is always on standby to react to phone calls relating to noise, open burning and stray animals. The influx of illegal motor mechanics, also referred to as bush mechanics, continue to be a thorny issue for the Municipality. The joint team will also be on the lookout for such illegal activity and anyone caught will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Urinating in public will also be dealt with as part of the joint operation. The team will also monitor against littering and anyone caught will be made to pay the applicable fine as per the law. The Municipality’s desire is for city cleanliness, safety and order to prevail during the festive season and beyond.