A total of R40-million has been set aside by the City to increase the security of community areas and deploy 312 safety wardens. The expenditure will include upgrading burglar bars, alarm systems, physical patrols at community clinics, libraries and recreational facilities.
This spend forms part of the City of Cape Town’s Social Services Directorate financial injection planned for this year to keep community facilities safe from criminals. The facilities include, clinics, libraries, community centres, sports fields and resorts, among others. These security upgrades and staff deployment will take place city-wide, with a special focus on hotspot areas.
Some of these facilities often fall victim to vandalism and acts of crime, causing millions in loss due to ongoing repairs, stolen equipment and disruption of community services.
The following initiatives are planned for this year:
– R10,1-million for security hardening measures like burglar bars, alarm systems, high mast lighting
– R20-million for the deployment of Facility Protection Officers
– R9,8-million for the deployment of 312 Safety Wardens
Apart from security hardening measures, the Social Services Directorate will also fund and deploy 90 Auxiliary Law Enforcement Officers and 70 safety wardens through the Facility Protection initiative, which started as a pilot project in 2017. Neighbourhood Watch members in good standing were trained and employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to conduct patrols in and around facilities in their areas. This initiative creates a visible presence around high-risk facilities, and the people employed know the area well and have a vested interest in safeguarding their communities.
“We are spending a lot of money on improving the protection of our facilities, but the users and surrounding communities also have a role to play. These community facilities are crucial to positive youth and community development, and so we can’t sit idly and allow a few individuals to destroy that which benefits so many.
“I appeal to residents to blow the whistle on criminals and to be vigilant and report any suspicions of wrongdoing to the City’s Law Enforcement Department or the South African Police Service,” said, the City’s Mayco member for Safety and Security; and Social Services, JP Smith.