Cape Town becomes S Africa's drug capital

Updated: 2012-02-10 13:44


  Comments() Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

CAPE TOWN - With "an awful lot of drugs  available," Cape Town has become "the drug capital of South Africa, " authorities said on Thursday.  

The drug trade considered Cape Town "a very lucrative place to  do business," said  Dan Plato, the city's Community Safety MEC  (Member of the Executive Council).  

He made the remarks after police released figures which showed  that drugs valued at almost 12 billion rand (about $1.6 billion) had been seized in the Western Cape since April 2010.  

"We are far, far ahead of other cities in terms of drug crime stats. We're making a grave mistake by underestimating the drug  problem in this city, because it's bigger than anyone thinks,"  Plato said.  

"The wide range of anti-drug measures needed constant hard work and vigilance", he said.  

"We need to continue to hit the drug cartels very hard. We can  do much, much better. But we've had a recent glimpse into the  underworld and at least we know they are now scared."  

Western Cape police commissioner Arno Lamoer told lawmakers on  Wednesday that the drugs trade was contributing hugely to crime  figures and that the Western Cape was seen as the province that  used drugs the most.  

"Every single day we confiscate drugs," Lamoer said, adding  that drugs worth more than 50 million rand (about $6.5 million) had been confiscated from buses in one week in January  when drug routes into the province were blocked.  

"The violent crime and the gangsterism in the Western Cape are  all linked to one thing – drugs. If we can stop the drugs, crime  will come down radically, and people will be safe."  

The Western Cape recorded a 1.6 percent increase in murders,  from 2, 274 between April 2009 and March 2010, to 2,311 between  April 2010 and March last year, according to the local newspaper Cape Argus.  

For the same period, attempted murders rose by 26.7 percent, from 1, 707 to 2,162.