Rep. of South Africa is one of the countries with the highest crime rate in the world. Momentarily, the incidence of violent crimes dropped sharply due to the restrictions related to COVID-19. However, as regulations were eased, violent crimes, including murders, are on the rise again.

Earlier this year, Rep. of South African Police Minister Beheki Celle said that 2,481 people were murdered in the three months from October to December 2020, causing at least 389 more deaths, compared with the corresponding period last year; this is 6.6% increase, compared with the same period last year. People were murdered in public places such as streets, open fields, parking areas, and abandoned buildings. During the same period, aggravated robberies such as car-jackings increased by 7%.

On Sunday, September 26, 2021, ASEZ members gathered in drainage ponds, De La Rey Street, Ravensmead, Cape Town, to prevent crime. Around thirty ASEZ members from University of the Western Cape [UWC] and from Cape Peninsula University of Technology [CPUT] came to improve the environment and prevent crime.

UWC graduate student Nokukhanya Prisca Ndlovu, who took part in the event, encouraged the members, saying, “Today we cleaned the Ravensmead Ponds that have become a common dumping site. Changing the world starts with you and me.” UWC student Khaya Nyembezi said, “I participated in this clean-up campaign to inspire others to lead more healthy lives. As our slogan suggests, we will make efforts to clean our surroundings until they become bright.”

After the volunteer service, Ward Counsilor A. Jacoline Visser expressed her gratitude to ASEZ for their continuous efforts to improve the environment and create a safe community, saying, “I’ve been helping the ASEZ group for a few years now with their cleanup campaigns, and we plan to do these kinds of projects regularly.  We appreciate the effort they put in and are grateful for their support.”

As the study found that crimes decreased even by lighting streetlights, crime prevention begins with little attention and effort. We look forward to the changes in Rep. of South Africa, which ASEZ members will bring about.