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The crime prevention role of street committees in selected townships in the eThekwini Municipal area.

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The role of street committees (SCs) in crime prevention in South Africa (SA) is key to combatting crime. Black local authorities (BLAs) commenced in 1982, leading to the formation of several civic structures. BLAs served the black population, but they were never accepted by the black majority for political reasons. They were regarded as apartheid projects. Moreover, BLAs allegedly contributed to the social stratification of society, and individuals who represented them developed a confrontational attitude towards the local community structures that boycotted them. In areas, such as Lingelihle in Cradock, boycotts led to the resignation of councillors from the BLAs. The Cradock Residents Association (CRADORA) was instrumental in the resignation of councillors in this area, owing to the pressure it had applied. It appears that, because of this pressure, CRADORA paved the way for the first formation of SCs in the country, although, before the advent of BLAs, civic organisations had been formed by the Committee of Ten (CoT) in Soweto in 1977. CRADORA was responsible for recruiting numerous township residents for the SCs, although the introduction of these structures in other areas differed from one community to another. SCs were robust structures that the security forces and police of the apartheid government could not control or disband. However, in 1988, SCs were ended by the repressive apartheid government that declared a state of emergency with a view to supressing political protest, rather than dealing with the crime prevalent in the 1980s. However, these structures continued to operate clandestinely. Numerous crime prevention strategies have been used by the government. The crime scourge has ravaged many families, communities, businesses, and other societal sectors. This has necessitated the ANC-led government and a president of the country to call for the resuscitation of SCs to assist in crime prevention. This study focussed on the role of SCs in preventing crime in the townships of Chesterville and Clermont in the eThekwini Municipal Area. The investigation followed a mixed-methods methodology, and a case study design to collect and analyse data. The contribution to knowledge is that municipalities should enact by-laws that recognise street committees


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.