Gangsters target Khayelitsha hair salons, hawkers, child care centres

This is according to the Khayelitsha development forum, which hosted a prayer service in the area over the weekend where residents stressed, they've had enough and are calling for action from authorities.

FILE: Hawker stand. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Hair salons, hawkers and child care centres are among small businesses being extorted by gangsters in Khayelitsha.

This is according to the Khayelitsha Development Forum, which hosted a prayer service in the area over the weekend where residents stressed that they'd had enough and called for action from authorities.

The forum’s Ndithini Tyhido said even pedestrians were being intimidated to pay protection money.

In some cases, residents have even had to show the criminals their payslips so they can decide on an amount of money to be extorted.

“There is too many of those cases. This started with these people extorting the foreign national-owned shops and now they are seeing the expansion of the income stream network to private and individual households and smaller businesses. And the problem here is the targeting of the poorest of the poor.”

Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa joined residents at the Khayelitsha Stadium over the weekend and urged residents to work with law enforcement agencies to take back their streets.

Tyhido said while residents were at the_ir _wits' end, some were fearful: “So as the community, we are mobilizing ourselves, trying to deal with the matter head-on. The problem that we are facing now is fear, people are even fearing coming out and people fear reporting these crimes.”

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