The City of Cape Town has allocated R80 million to fight crime through various technological measures, including dash and body cameras, video surveillance and drones.
“Just over R48 million has been earmarked for additional and replacement CCTV cameras around the city in the new financial year, as well as the gunshot detection technology,” the city said in a statement.
The R48 million budget is part of the proposed R432 million capital budget for 2023/24.
The city’s Safety and Security Directorate said its investment in its CCTV footprint is well documented, and this investment continues, guided by the CCTV Rollout Plan.
The Rollout Plan advises on priority areas for CCTV installations, engagement with key stakeholders like the South African Police Service, businesses and NPOs, guidelines for the usage of data in determining CCTV locations, partnerships with private CCTV owners and a standard operating procedure for infrastructure installation.
With the 2023/24 budget allocation, the Directorate plans to procure more advanced dashboard cameras with ANPR functionality, and introduce body cameras.
‘The increased use of digital tools has long been on the cards, and we want to accelerate its implementation to see how it can best serve our enforcement needs, and make our city safer,” said the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.
“Already we are seeing very good results with the dashboard cameras that are in use, helping to track down stolen vehicles, or vehicles used in the commission of a crime, and of course, motorists with outstanding warrants and more.
“The body cameras will provide digital evidence to assist in the prosecution of offenders, but can also increase officer safety, improve situational awareness and can also serve as a safeguard for the public, as well as our staff, particularly where claims are made.”
With the proposed budget for the 2023/24 financial year, it is envisioned that the Directorate will procure 400 body cams, 50 dash-cams, 10 fixed cameras and 20 mobile cameras.
In terms of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones), the Directorate is using a transversal City tender to deploy drones during enforcement and emergency operations, while it completes the process of acquiring its remote operating certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority.
Over the longer term, the vision is to establish an Aviation Unit within Safety and Security.
‘We live in an ever-changing world, and it is imperative to supplement boots on the ground with the necessary tools to fight crime and lawlessness head on,” said Smith.
“Our draft budget caters for more staff, ongoing training and associated resources like vehicles, uniforms and firearms. The ongoing investment in digital tools and advancements will provide a very useful boost to our overall deliverables.”