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Mayor joins waste removal staff facing extortion threats in Kosovo<p>The City and its contractors provide a door-to-door waste collection service in Kosovo informal settlement in the Philippi area, as well as ongoing area cleaning services and shipping containers for waste disposal. Kosovo forms part of the Western Cape Government's Southern Corridor catalytic housing project set to deliver over 50 000 units over time across various informal settlements in the vicinity of the airport.</p><p>Contractors servicing shipping containers have been prevented from operating in the Kosovo area with demands of protection fees by local extortionists. Vehicles have also been damaged. In Samora Machel/Brown's Farm, a contractor has been unable to service the area for most of April given the extent of safety threats. City staff, accompanied by law enforcement, have been keeping services going in the interim.<br></p><p><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:879px;" /></figure>​​</span>'I want to thank our frontline staff most sincerely for their bravery and perseverance in delivering basic services in Kosovo and the wider area of Philippi East. Constant threats of violence has led to the need for law enforcement protection just to keep services going for residents. We can put these extortionists behind bars with the help of the community. I am calling on Philippi East residents, and anyone with information, to come forward so that we can arrest those blocking services for residents. The City is committed to ensuring basic service delivery and a clean environment for residents, and we will never back down for extortionists. We will continue to report these incidents to the police and have further appointed a special investigator within the City's Safety and Security Directorate who will pursue cases where information may lead to arrests and convictions,' said Mayor Hill-Lewis.</p><p>'Our waste management service has been severely disrupted in Philippi East in recent weeks, with local extortionists demanding payment amid violent threats to our staff and contractors. We have been able to resume services thanks to law enforcement escorts helping to protect our staff going about their area cleaning business. However it is not sustainable for law enforcement to provide these protection services in hotspots across the City indefinitely. The public and SAPS must work with us to arrest extortionists and ensure consequences for this heinous criminality that disrupts basic service delivery for the poorest residents,' said Alderman Twigg.<br></p><p><span></span></p><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:919px;" /></figure>​​'In response to widespread threats to staff and facilities, the City will soon launch a Facility Protection Unit, which will also provide escorts for staff where needed. However, we also need meaningful arrests and prosecutions, and I renew my call to SAPS to formally constitute the kidnapping and extortion task team that the City has been calling for.<p></p><p>In the interim, we call on the public to make use of our toll-free tip-off line and claim rewards of up to R5 000 for information leading to arrests of anyone targeting City staff with extortion and violence across the metro,' said Alderman Smith.</p><p><strong>Anonymous tip-offs welcomed</strong></p><p><strong>Call: 0800 1100 77</strong></p><p>Tips received by the dedicated tip-off line are relayed to the relevant City agency. Once they have made an arrest/confiscation, they will submit the application for consideration by the Rewards for Information Committee. We do have to caution the public that it could take several weeks or months after the arrest or confiscation is made for the reward to be paid out, once all relevant administrative processes have been completed.</p><p>The system is not open to people under the age of 18. <br></p><p><br></p>2023-05-14T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#3bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50;L0|#03bd13869-3207-4532-9db7-a4ca95867a50|JP Smith;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GPP|#3f57ea8a-3adb-4a8f-bb3a-0a20a62c7fe9;GP0|#f23d6e38-ecad-400d-a7d2-1656afeec4cd;L0|#0f23d6e38-ecad-400d-a7d2-1656afeec4cd|Philippi East;GP0|#30dd8f25-92b1-4698-88d7-6dcdeb3d56c1;L0|#030dd8f25-92b1-4698-88d7-6dcdeb3d56c1|waste and cleaning;GP0|#cb6d6e15-6695-4e7e-8dc5-48623fbc9960;L0|#0cb6d6e15-6695-4e7e-8dc5-48623fbc9960|waste collection;GP0|#90b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534;L0|#090b49a62-96e2-436a-9c68-187c9ab33534|Mayor10


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