Active citizenry at KZN resort town drops crime 90%, attracts investment

At breakfast yesterday, I bumped into a graduate from the internship programme at my old company. It provided pause. What I remember as an idealistic, bright young mind has hardened into that if a cynic. The most exciting thing in this well qualified fellow’s life right now is his interview for emigration to Australia – which he says can’t come soon enough.

My former colleague said none of his 30-something friends still live in SA, and before I could stop him, blurted out how National Health Insurance would bankrupt the country, how “freedoms” are being threatened, and how Julius Malema’s “racial hate-speech” makes him fear for the future. This really saddens me. But not for reasons you might imagine.

Also yesterday, I received an email from Paul Reynolds who runs Southbroom’s Estate Agency. Last time on holiday there, in April 2015, we were woken at 3am by shouts from the neighbouring house which was being broken into. Paul says a lot has happened since. Apart from a community-funded police station, the town has installed 28 cameras, two with facial and number plate recognition at the entrances. Once rampant crime has dropped 90%.

More to his point, Southbroom had more property sales in the past six months than the whole of the previous two years. Plus a new retirement complex of 140 units is in final planning stages. There will always be two kinds of people: those determined to be part of the solution, and those seeking the easier, softer route. SA needs more Pauls.

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