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CCTV repairs under way to enhance safety

By Khethukuthula Xulu

An eThekwini member of safety, emergency and security committee said less than 14% (69 of 499) of the city's CCTV cameras were operational.

The eThekwini Municipality says plans are in place to fix defective outdoor surveillance cameras, in a concerted effort to ensure the safety of residents and tourists.

The municipality said this in the wake of the Democratic Alliance (DA) commenting on the amount of CCTV cameras in the city that were out of service.

DA councillor and eThekwini member of safety, emergency and security committee, Sharmaine Sewshanker said less than 14% (69 of 499) of the city’s CCTV cameras were operational.

The city has failed abysmally to prioritise the safety of the residents of this city.

“This is while the mayor and his cronies remain fully protected at City Hall where 95% of the cameras monitoring City Hall and their offices are fully functional.”

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Sewshanker said this was putting Durban residents and tourists in danger, even more so during load shedding.

“We have repeatedly questioned the removal of the much-needed security management contracts in the Durban CBD, Isipingo CBD, and the beachfront.”

However, it has become glaringly evident that the ANC is not concerned about the safety of tourists, visitors, or businesses and the economy of our city.

According to the municipality, a letter of award for CCTV cameras has been signed. The municipality said the street cameras, also known as closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV), operate on power and fibre.

The cameras became defective after some of the fibre cables were washed away during last year’s floods.

The head of disaster management, Vincent Ngubane, recently presented to the safety and security services committee a detailed plan of action to fix the cameras. The city has budgeted R110 million for this project.

“A letter of award for CCTV cameras was signed on July 14 and part of this contract includes fibre installation, maintenance and repairs. The contractor is already on the ground, and we anticipate that all our cameras will be up and running by the end of November in time for the festive season,” said eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Gugu Sisilana.

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She said while the project of repairing the fibre is already underway, the city has also increased the number of visible law enforcement officers deployed to all crime hotspots. This includes township areas which also have active police stations.

“Police work closely with other law enforcement agencies in ensuring that our residents are safe. We also have beach patrol and law enforcement along popular tourist areas such as our beaches and hotels.

We also have rangers at parks who ensure that the safety of our residents and visitors goes beyond just the bustling city centre.

This is in addition to our security management officers. We are currently in the process of recruiting more Metro Police officers with the aim of ensuring that our city is crime-free,” said Sisilana.