[interactive map] Top hijacking and smash ‘n’ grab hotspots in Gauteng

infographic on top hotspots

Deep in South Africa has produced an interactive map below of the top hijacking and smash ‘n’ grab hotspots in Gauteng, based on data from the Gauteng Department of Community Safety and eBlockwatch.

The data from the Department of Community Safety comes from a question-and-answer session with Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane. Nkosi-Malobane mentioned problems with the data, citing “system errors”.

The map will be updated with more data points.

[webdoc] Protest Chants of the EFF

in the thick of a EFF protest
in the thick of a EFF protest

Deep in South Africa is experimenting with new ways of telling a story and leveraging powerful new web technologies that facilitate that.

Protest Chants of the EFF is a short webdoc (web documentary), powered by Interlude’s Treehouse, on a protest held by the EFF last year May during the general elections. It’s  designed for both desktop/laptop and mobile.

This is a first foray into online documentary making with this app, so please let us know in the comments or contact us about any technical problems faced.

Following the Jeppestown evictions

301 Marshall Street Jeppestown

One of the buildings at the center of last week’s Jeppestown protest has been identified as 301 Marshall Street, owned by Rilagraph Pty Ltd.

Deep in South Africa has seen and confirmed an eviction notice served to the residents. Rilagraph’s attorney Greg Vermaak of Vermaak & Partners confirmed that the eviction notice was served July 2014 and that the City of Johannesburg was notified ‘as per their formal process

The residents applied earlier this month on 5 March to have the eviction order rescinded.

The updated map from the full recap of the protests is below:

[Updated] Understanding the #JeppeProtest and Jeppestown evictions

Updated 11:50am 24 March 2015:

This past Wednesday, an unauthorized march formed close to Jeppe Men’s Hostel in Jeppestown, downtown Johannesburg, after eviction orders were issued to residents. A local youth empowerment organization Umuzi Photo Club reported that residents in the area felt aggrieved and ignored by the City of Johannesburg and the local ANC ward councillor, after it was revealed that property developers acquired old buildings without their consultation.

Residents feel economic development moving into nearby Maboneng Precinct and other urban regeneration projects, and little happening in their communities.

The following charts can shed some light on Jeppestown as a whole:

Maboneng, owned by Propertuity, quickly became the object of attack, although it was not clear at that point whether they are the developers behind the recent acquisitions.

Police were alerted to the march and violence gave way when tensions flared:

From media reports, it is still not clear which buildings have been affected by the acquisitions. The update from SABC reporter Manqoba Mchunu (cited above, Situation remains tense in Jeppestown) on Wednesday made the first explicit mention of the property developer EGC Properties, a fact that wasn’t picked up in articles by Daily Maverick, EWN, and CityPress.

Residents who live in the area mentioned that nine to 10 buildings were served notices, while City of Johannesburg confirmed that only three to their knowledge have been affected. This is from today’s The Khonza Show on CliffCentral, where it was also stated that the evictions are set to go ahead on 24 March.

A video published on Thursday reported that despite the 24 March deadline, evictions had already started:

Deep in South Africa did contact Propertuity for clarification. The company refused to comment on the protests and the tensions with Jeppestown residents, but they confirmed the addresses of their upcoming developments. In light of another developer being named by reports, it is unclear why they have appeared to be defensive and refrain from commenting.

Further to EGC Properties, it has been revealed that another developer, Dryden Projects Construction, have been linked to EGC and the forced evictions. Deep in South Africa has confirmed that EGC Properties is a subsidiary of Dryden Projects.

Below is a map of all developments owned or carried out by Propertuity and Dryden.

Errata: All instances of ECG Properties was changed to EGC Properties.

Ahead of ‘March Against Crime’ on Friday, local councilor explains why the march

Updated Thursday March 19

1:43pm: JMPD Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar denied there was any concern or ‘negativity’ from JMPD about the protest. All necessary permits and applications have been followed correctly. When asked about number of officers present tomorrow, he could not confirm the number of assigned officers due to the shift system employed.

A ‘March Against Crime’ will happen this coming Friday 20 March from 10am to 1pm, starting from Roodepoort City Hall and ending at SAPS Roodepoort, where a memorandum will be handed over.

route for March Against Crime 20 March
route for March Against Crime 20 March

Deep in South Africa asked the march organiser and Ward 71 Councillor Gert Niemand to explain more about the march. It hasn’t had much traction or exposure on social media.

What turnout are you expecting for this march?
Well, we are planning for 500 and it [looks like] that we will come close to that.

Is this the first ever march organized in your ward?
Yes, the march organised for the Roodepoort Constituency along with the Northwest Constituency which covers the Honeydew Cluster police area.

What kind of security arrangements are in place for the day for marchers to be at ease?
Both SAPS and JMPD will be in attendance. From the organisers side, we will have sufficient marshalls as well as medical personnel available.

Any personal fears ahead of this march?
As the organiser, there is a 101 things that CAN go wrong, but I am confident that the march will be a success from an organising point of view as well as having a positive outcome and getting the message across that the community can and will not accept the high levels of crime in their area.

source: LinkedIn
DA Ward 71 Councillor

How difficult or straightforward was it obtaining the necessary permit from the municipality and police?
The application proses for a public march is relatively straightforward, JMPD has got one office that deals with all these applications.  The applicant goes in, do the application are then given a date to appear before the JOC panel and once appeared the march or event is approved or disapproved. The problem comes in that when you hand memoranda over to someone, the recipient of such a memorandum must give you a letter indicating that they will receive the memorandum.  SAPS had no problem providing me with such a letter, but JMPD refused to receive one and referred me to the Speakers office.  We will not be handing them a memorandum on the day but will hand the memorandum in to the Office of the Speaker which will then make it a formal document to Council that needs to be dealt with.

In a telephonic conversation with the official spokesperson for SAPS Roodepoort Warrant Officer Nonhlanhla Khumalo, she confirmed that there will be a march on Friday and that the appropriate permit had been obtained from JMPD, but that there had been no official communication between the Councillor’s office and SAPS Roodepoort. Officer Khumalo kept mentioning that she ‘had read about it in the local newspaper.’

Officer Khumalo added that the councillor has stipulated that the memorandum will be handed over to the Honeydew Clustre Commander, rather than the SAPS Roodepoort commander. The reason for this remains unclear.

Honeydew Clustre is comprised of Douglasdale, Florida, Honeydew, Randburg, Roodepoort,
Cosmo City, and also includes informal settlements – Zandspruit, Itsoseng, Diepsloot, Kya Sands, Pipeline, Durban Deep and Matholesville.

Would you say SAPS and Metro were helpful in the process?
Yes, as far as the application process is concerned.

How did this march come out? Was it a community call? Shed some light here.
The idea behind the march came about as all the wards in the Honeydew Cluster, ward councillors have been inundated at public meetings for some time now by Community members and block watches that the overall crime situation is getting out of hand. In terms of JMPD, we as ward councillors are dealing with complaints on a daily basis of by-law infringements such as illegal dumping, illegal taxi ranks, illegal signage, etc. That needs the attention of JMPD.

The headings of the flyer are direct and point to particular problems. Are you aware of specific statistics that support your reasons for the march?
Yes, the 2014 crime stats that were released by the South African Police Services. The Honeydew Cluster and in particular the Honeydew and Roodepoort Police Stations are in the Top 10 worst Crime Statistics in Gauteng.

Has there been any hostility expressed against the march so far?
None so ever from the Community at large, but as I’ve mentioned JMPD is not too happy.

What do you want to see come out of this march, both from government and community?
On the community side much more awareness and involvement with their local block watch structures and crime forums.  From the government side, more pro-active policing, revised sector policing module, more staff and more resources to be made available against the fight.  There also needs to be an attitude change from both organisations to the way they conduct themselves in relation to their job.

Major question to be answered on Friday… Why a 3 hour march for a 13 minute walk?

R260k in revenue lost every day with Rea Vaya buses off the roads

Rea Vaya is losing approximately R260000 in revenue per day. The bus company has still not announced a definite date for the return of their bus services to its Johannesburg customers.

The following infographic shows the overall impact of the bus strikes on the City of Johannesburg.

When asked about the contribution of maintenance and infrastructure to the overall loss, Rea Vaya SSMA Benny Makgoga explained that “maintenance cost is minimal as infrastructure is not being used and buses are not operating.“

Passenger refunds also do not form part of the revenue loss. Makgoga remarked that “No passengers were re-imbursed during the strike as they were advised to use their smartcards as debit cards to make purchases.”
There is no official release on the Rea Vaya website about the continued suspension of bus services. The official Twitter account posted 2 days ago, urging customers to be patient.

Heliopolis InstituteSpecial thanks to Mohamed el-Dahshan, economist with the Cairo-based Heliopolis Institute.