Police Minister Bheki Cele has set up a steering committee to deal with protection rackets in Cape Town.

He briefed the media on Wednesday afternoon along with Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz and Safety and Security Mayco member JP Smith.

Cele said he had been alerted about Cape Town businesses, including restaurants and coffee shops, being extorted by criminals demanding ‘protection money’.

“We view this situation very seriously as this does not only constitute a crime but this also directly impacts on the grand economic strategy of this country.”

He said the steering committee involved all levels of government and would add resources to address the problem.

“We are inviting the people of Cape Town to not do business with these people.”

However, Cele is concerned that businesses are withdrawing cases.

The minister has personally visited businesses in Long Street on Wednesday.


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