Residents of two areas in Pietermaritzburg say they now sleep with one eye open because of the high increase in crime.
Armed house robberies are especially on the rise.
Ward 10 residents, which includes KwaPata and part of Azalea, said at least one house robbery takes place every day.
The criminals are said to be targeting items such as flat screen televisions, cellphones, laptops and money.
“What is sad about this whole situation is that these cases are being reported to the police, but nothing happens.
“What will happen now is that people are going to take the law into their own hands because they are tired of the police. We cannot live in fear in our own homes because of the criminals.
“This place has turned into something that we do not even recognise. First it was the killings, now this.
“What will happen is that people will start vacating this place because no one wants to live in fear,” said one resident who did not want to be named.
Another resident said, “We are scared living here. It has been turned into a crime area that is not safe. We do not even feel safe in our own homes.
“We feel that police have failed to protect us as the community. We are not asking for much but what we want is to see police visibility in our area at night with the hope that it will help with the situation that we are currently facing.”
Previously, Weekend Witness reported a similar problem in Imbali Unit 14, where residents there were being threatened with firearms and knives.
Ward councillor Mavie Victoria Phungula said if the community has information regarding these robberies, they must report them to the police.
“After reporting, the residents must follow up with the police as to what is happening with their cases so that justice can take its course.
“People and the community must work together with the police so that we can deal with this issue,” she said.
Plessislaer police spokesperson, Sergeant Sfiso Gwala, said police have noticed a rise in house robberies in KwaPata.
“People are being threatened with firearms or knives. The criminals seem to have information about the victims who they target,” he said. Gwala said the criminals are targeting vulnerable people.
“KwaPata and the Imbali area have become a priority for our station due to the high rise in the number of cases that have been reported.
“We are urging people who have any kind of information to report it, even if they want to be anonymous, that is okay. As long as the police have the information, that will lead to the arrests of the criminals.”