S. African president announces measures to combat rising crimes


File photo: CGTN 

CAPE TOWN, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday evening announced a series of measures to combat rising crimes, saying investment and growth require a safe, stable and crime-free environment.

"More importantly, it is fundamental to the aspirations of all our people to live in security, peace and comfort," the president said when delivering his State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of the parliament.

He listed police visibility, effective training and better resourcing of police stations as the government's priorities.

"I have prioritized our response to the growing problem of criminal groups that extort money from construction and other businesses," said Ramaphosa.

Specialised units, including South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority, are mandated to combat these crimes of economic disruption, he said.

To support the tourism industry, the SAPS will increase presence at identified tourist attraction sites, according to Ramaphosa.

South Africa has seen a rise in crimes committed against tourists recently. The SAPS is training tourism safety monitors and will establish a reserve police capacity to police tourist attraction areas, said Ramaphosa.

Anti-gang units will be further strengthened, the president said.

To improve the quality of SAPS investigations, the government is establishing a Crime Detection University in Hammanskraal, Gauteng Province, Ramaphosa said.

The president promised to upgrade the culture of reporting crime, saying that the anti-crime battle can only succeed if it is taken on by the whole society.