City of Cape Town launches anti-extortion campaign to fight the construction mafia

The City of Cape Town has launched a new anti-extortion campaign under the slogan ‘Enough is Enough! Genoeg is Genoeg! Kwanele!’ as part of its plans to tackle crimes related to construction and infrastructure.

As part of the campaign, the municipality has setup a 24-hour anonymous hotline (0800 00 6992) and rewards system to encourage Capetonians to assist the City and authorities to tackle extortion.  

“Demands for ‘protection fees’ from local extortionists are impeding both basic service delivery and major infrastructure projects,” commented Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis. “We are determined to prevent disruptions to services by partnering with communities as our eyes and ears to root out local extortionists and paying out cash rewards for valuable tip-offs leading to arrest and prosecution.”

With a record R11 billion infrastructure budget in 2023/2024 – 73% of which will directly benefit lower income households – we have staff and contractors working on the ground more than ever, especially in vulnerable communities impacted by crime. We cannot afford project delays due to criminal activity. That’s why the aim of the Enough campaign is to increase public reporting of extortion activity, with specialised City investigators feeding this information into the South African Police Service (SAPS) anti-extortion unit.”

Law enforcement is also regularly escorting City teams and contractors on request in hotspot areas, and additional project security requirements have been built into project contracts. Our staff and contractors are under instruction to make sure that any extortion attempts are reported to authorities every single time, so that we build a case record and pushback against the criminals harming the interests of communities. Extortion is large-scale organised crime run by well-oiled and very lucrative syndicates. The only way to stand up for us is to stand together against these criminals.”

The campaign was launched at the construction of new MyCiTi depots in Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, a massive project at the heart of operations for the second phase of the MyCiTi bus service. Interference with multiple contractors and extortion attempts since May have set the project back by several weeks, as part of a broader R60 million in transport project work impacted by extortion delays. 

A total of R110 million human settlements project work has also been impacted in 2023/2024.

Anonymous tip-offs are encouraged:

Phone 24/7: 0800 00 6992