Far South to benefit
Ocean View, Fish Hoek, Muizenberg, Noordhoek and Masiphumelele will all benefit from the R40m the City of Cape Town is spending on securing community facilities.
The expenditure includes everything, from burglar bars and alarms to physical patrols at clinics, libraries and recreational facilities.
Library and Information Services will spend approximately R250 000 on security measures. The work is being incorporated with planned repairs and maintenance at the Fish Hoek Library and the work comprises alarm installations, gates and fencing.
“Some of the community facilities are prone to acts of vandalism and crime, with millions lost as a result of ongoing repairs and replacement of stolen equipment and infrastructure, but also untold costs in the disruption of services to communities,” says JP Smith, Mayco member for safety, security and social services.
The Social Services Directorate plans to implement a number of initiatives in this financial year, including R10.1m for security-hardening measures like burglar bars, alarm systems and high-mast lightning; R20m for the deployment of facility protection officers; and R9.8m for the deployment of 312 safety wardens.
“Clinics that will be on the list for security upgrades are in Fish Hoek and Ocean View. The City has hundreds of facilities designed to cater for the needs of the communities, but too often things fall flat because the facility is damaged and service delivery or access is disrupted.
“It is not just hard on the pocket as a result of the running repairs, but it affects the morale of both residents and staff members,” he says.
A seemingly simple act of cable theft at a clinic could have far-reaching consequences.
“If there is no electricity, staff cannot work and patients cannot be treated. The clinic is closed until the damage is repaired and that doesn’t necessarily happen immediately.
“The deployment of 90 auxiliary Law Enforcement officers and 70 safety wardens is also funded by the Social Services Department. It started as a pilot project in 2017, where neighbourhood watch members in good standing were trained and employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme to conduct patrols in and around facilities in their areas. The Muizenberg pavilion and swimming pool, Ocean View Civic, the sports field, smart park and multi-purpose centre will be patrolled by the facility protection officers, controlled by the City’s Recreation and Parks Department,” Smith says.
The safety wardens will be rolled out at the Fish Hoek community centre and beach area, Masiphumelele community centre, Noordhoek sports grounds and Muizenberg beach area.
“The safety wardens are deployed at hotspot facilities and will be tasked to control basic access at facilities and monitor facility usage over weekends and after hours. They will engage with users, clubs, individuals or members of the public about facility use or any bylaw contraventions. They will also alert Law Enforcement or line staff of any vandalism, theft, bylaw or other contraventions,” Smith says.