Mall gets the all clear

MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane is happy. PICTURE: FACEBOOK

A few years ago Clearwater Mall in Roodepoort was losing customers because of taxi wars around the centre, but in a dramatic turnaround Gauteng police have now labelled it as one of the safest malls in Gauteng.

In 2007, there was violence in the area attributed to infighting between taxi associations over the route from Bree Street to Clearwater Mall. The hostility forced many commuters to opt for buses while others preferred to steer clear of the mall.

The Faraday Taxi Association (FTA) and the Dobsonville, Roodepoort, Leratong, Johannesburg Taxi Association had accused the registrar for public transport in Gauteng of failing to allocate the routes and ensure that agreements reached were implemented.

But things have now changed for the better. Gauteng police spokesperson Lt-Col Mack Mngomezulu says the mall is now one of the safest around Gauteng.

“It is our desire to collaborate with patrons and all other law enforcement agencies in a bid to ensure safety for shoppers.

Shopping malls are meant to be a crime free environment where patrons could feel free to walk, do business and shop without fear,” Mngomezulu said.

Gauteng community safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said she was encouraged by the manner in which Clearwater Mall patrons are taking charge of their safety by recording an incident-free festive season for mall robberies, smash and grabs and common robberies.

“What makes the mall safe is largely attributed to the high visibility of the SAPS, complemented by a force multiplier comprising community patrollers, Gauteng traffic police officers and metro police officers,” Nkosi-Malobane said.

The MEC visited the mall, interacting with shoppers during a mall activation on Wednesday where law enforcement agencies shared safety tips and encouraged them to help strengthen community intelligence.

During the festive season there was increased police visibility at malls aimed at curbing mall crimes.