The United Democratic Movement (UDM) is deeply concerned about the startling rise in criminal extortion in the Western Cape, Gqeberha, and Pretoria. We vehemently denounce this heinous criminal behaviour that threatens the security and means of subsistence of local businesses and ordinary citizens.
Extortion is a threat to society when criminals demand money from residents and local businesses in exchange for protection. It hinders not just economic development and progress but also our communities’ safety and security.
Small enterprise and local businesses, in particular, already face a lot of obstacles in a challenging economic climate. They are put under unnecessary pressure by the additional cost of extortion payments, which hinders their ability to function and prosper. This has an impact on local businesses as well as on jobs and the local economy.
Because of the deeds of these criminals, law-abiding citizens who ought to feel safe in their neighbourhoods are living in fear. Such criminal behaviour can cause social cohesion to break down and destroy confidence in law enforcement.
The UDM calls on law enforcement agencies to intensify their efforts to combat extortion and to bring those responsible to justice. In order to identify and capture these offenders, we further implore the impacted communities to collaborate closely with law enforcement.
In addition, we demand that the government, law enforcement, civil society, and local communities work together to solve the underlying issues that lead to this criminal behaviour, such as unemployment, poverty, and social disintegration.
The UDM is still dedicated to helping initiatives that improve everyone’s safety and security in South Africa. We are committed to working towards the complete eradication of extortion from our society and express our solidarity with the victims of this illegal behaviour.
United Democratic Movement National Office
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Secretary General