Ricochet News

Nelson Mandela Bay residents complain about Metro police visibility and CCTV cameras

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 1, 2018
Nelson Mandela Bay residents complain about Metro police visibility and CCTV cameras

Improved Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Police visibility in the townships as well as the installation of street Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras to ensure community safety especially during the upcoming festive season is a priority for the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s MMC for Safety and Security, Litho Suka.

In June, RNEWS learnt that hundreds of street-level CCTV cameras in the Nelson Mandela Bay were not working after reaching the end of their operational lives.

Suka told RNEWS that he aims to bring safety closer to townships and Northern areas after noticing that Metro Police are only visible in certain areas whereas robbery and crime occurs everywhere.

Audit of safety and security personnel in the Bay

"We are taking an opportunity audit of the entire Metro in terms of the security and our work force - the Metro Police, Traffic officers and everybody else,” Suka described.

"We want to have clear data because when we ask the question of how many personnel do we have so that we can effectively address crime and improve security for residents and businesses in the Metro – the answer is not clear.

“We want an audit of our personal stuff so that they can be deployed all over the Metro."

Over the past two weeks, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Mayoral Committee, led by Executive Mayor, Mongameli Bobani, have been conducting Integrated Development Plan (IDP) meetings around the Bay.

The purpose of those meetings is for the leadership of the Metro to engage residents and get their views on the service delivery priorities for their areas.

The meetings usually start after working hours, from 18:00 and they can last up to midnight.

MMC Suka said that he noticed one thing during those meetings.

"The Metro Police is only visible in one corner and there is a cry in our townships - especially in these IDP meetings, that the Metro Police is not visible," he described.

"As a result our traffic police are dealing with things they should not be dealing with in terms of their role.”

About CCTV cameras in the Metro

"Most of CCTV cameras in the Nelson Mandela Bay - if not 90% of those CCTV cameras, in strategic positions and crime hotspots are not working,” Suka described.

"Currently there is zero functionality on those cameras. Even those that are working are not serving the purpose that they are supposed to be serving - they are only focusing in certain areas, which are not really a priority to crime prevention.

"When we had an IDP meeting in Uitenhage, people were saying that those CCTV cameras are not working because there are robberies that take place on a daily basis."

How much is allocated for the Safety and Security department

Although Suka is promising a big turnaround in terms of how the Metro was addressing crime and safety, he still doesn't know how much money his department has for the roll-out of his plans.

"We are going to look into those matters and have a comprehensive plan especially now that we are going towards the festive season,” he noted.

"However, I cannot only be guided as to how much we have on the budget now because I don't want to make any commitments now when I'm not sure in terms of the budget.

"The budget must follow the function; once I'm sure of the budget, we will be able to deploy the personnel throughout the Metro.”

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.