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‘We will protect city – for free’

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BIG PLANS: The Sol Plaatje City Council has not yet approved a proposal by a private security company to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in and around the city, free of charge. The company wants to install solar-powered CCTV cameras in the CBD, residential areas, municipal pleasure resorts and farms in and around Kimberley and Ritchie without any cost to the municipality. It would train and employ 20 staff members per ward as peace officers, who would enforce by-laws such as illegal dumping, stray animals and impoundment.

THE SOL Plaatje City Council has not yet approved a proposal by a private security company to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in and around the city, free of charge.

Business persons in the city believe that the cameras will assist in the prevention of crime and the tracking down of criminals, especially since the CCTV cameras that were set up in the CBD have been out of order for several years.

Private-I-Network, a Johannesburg-based company, made presentations to the Safety and Security Committee, where it proposed to install solar-powered CCTV cameras in the CBD, residential areas, municipal pleasure resorts and farms in and around Kimberley and Ritchie without any cost to the municipality.

In the presentation by the information and communications technology company, it stated that at least five CCTV cameras would be installed in each ward of the city.

The company said that it would train and employ 20 staff members per ward (including persons with physical disabilities) as peace officers, who would enforce by-laws such as illegal dumping, stray animals and impoundment.

The company is also willing to supply and install camera equipment in each ward, as well as install solar-powered computer laboratories.

It will also undertake to pay all the staff employed in the project, as well as the municipality.

The objectives of the project include crime prevention, by-laws enforcement, job creation and stability in communities.

All staff members would receive a salary, PC/laptop/cellphone, a uniform, free internet access, power (solar/wind) training and certificated training.

It will be capable of facial logging and facial recognition, which will prevent criminals from operating in all areas. The cameras will be able to automatically detect a face, enroll into the facial database and upload and share the information.

Other innovations could see driving licence scanners being installed in traffic vehicles, which will include a high-quality encrypted barcode scanner, which will reduce fraud and allow for eNatis checks. The scanners will also be integrated into the database through wireless communication.

According to the presentation, installations will be done in Galeshewe, Roodepan, Colville, Floors, Greenpoint, the southern suburbs, Ritchie, all cemeteries, the municipal resorts, the CBD area, Fabricia, Kimdustria and various public and private farms.

Strategic partners mentioned in the presentation include I-Cube (investor), the SAPS, the National Prosecuting Authority, Salga, the Department of Transport, Safety and Liaison, First National Bank and the Community Policing Forum.

In terms of the operational plan, in the first year the peace officers (20 in each of the city’s 33 wards, totalling 660) will work as by-law enforcers. In the second year they will be trained as traffic wardens (writing fines) and in the third year they will be sent to traffic college to be trained as fully-fledged traffic officers.

Private-I-Network describes itself as an ICT security company specialising in surveillance, electronic security systems and investigations (criminal and civil).

The managing director is stated as having 25 years experience in security management, including 20 years with the SAPS.

I-Cube, the investor, specialises in developing applications for traffic surveillance, traffic enforcement, toll roads, border control, security, access control, parking systems, car trapping and roadblocks, logistics and automation. “The MD is a specialist in image analysis.”

At last week’s Sol Plaatje Safety and Security meeting, it was explained that the project would not have any financial implications for Kimberley for the first three years. After this period, the municipality will be expected to pay a portion of the fines collected by the company’s peace officers.

Concern were raised regarding the training involved as staff would only initially receive five days of training.

Further details are expected to be clarified in the proposed report.

Spokesperson for the Office of the Mayor, George Mosimane, said council had not yet approved the presentation.

“The matter was referred back to the relevant council committee responsible for safety and security for further engagements. After all deliberations have taken place at the level of the committee, it will advise council whether the plan is viable and whether there will be no cost implications attached as it was presented at council.”

Mosimane added that no presentation had been made to the mayoral committee on this matter.

“As a result, it has not been presented to council. The committee needs to make its recommendations to the mayoral committee before any matter is referred to council for consideration.

“We will await the report of the Safety and Security Committee if the matter is to be taken any further.”