A Public Access to Information Act (PAIA) application and subsequent response reveals that the City of Cape Town currently does not have a CCTV master plan. This means that the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security’s previous public claim that the City has such a plan was a lie. This means that the City of Cape Town has been spending money on installing, maintaining and monitoring CCTV cameras with no clear plan or strategy.
The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has long maintained that the distribution of CCTV cameras across the City of Cape Town appeared to be unplanned and not in any way strategic. The SJC demonstrated, using the City’s own CCTV coverage data (see below), that the majority of city-maintained and monitored CCTV cameras are to be found in safer wards and not in wards on the Cape Flats where communities are confronted with extreme levels of violent crime daily.
The SJC had seen mention of the “CCTV master plan” and as a result we engaged with the City and kindly requested a copy of the master plan on three separate occasions. City officials, including JP Smith, ignored all three of these requests.
Then on 17 June this year, Smith referred to a CCTV Masterplan in an opinion piece written to the Daily Maverick. From Smith’s opinion piece it was clear that this “old dated” CCTV master plan must still be in operation as the City had not yet initiated a revision of the plan.
In response, and given that our three previous requests had been ignored, the SJC escalated the matter by submitting a formal PAIA application for the master plan.
On Friday, 27 September 2019, we received the decision to our PAIA application from the City of Cape Town’s Deputy Information Officer. The correspondence informed us that the record we applied for, the “City of Cape Town CCTV Masterplan”, “does not exist”.
Despite limited resources, the City of Cape Town, and specifically the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, has allowed safety resources in one of the most violent cities on the planet to be allocated with no assessment of where the need is greatest, without considering crime statistics, population density, levels of pedestrianisation and public transport use. This is a dereliction of duty and shows a lack of care given the extent of violence across Cape Town and given the strains placed on the public purse.
Given that the Bishop Lavis police precinct saw a 46.9% increase in murders between 2017/2018 and 2018/2019, the SJC will continue to argue that it is irrational and wholly irresponsible for Ward 24 and Ward 50 combined (covering Bishop Lavis and the Cape Town International Airport, as well as covering Bonteheuwel which falls under the Bishop Lavis police precinct) to have only ten city-monitored CCTV cameras. This while Ward 59 (serving parts of Rondebosch, Newlands and Bishops Court) has 33 city-monitored CCTV cameras and Ward 62 (serving parts of Bishops Court, Constantia and Wynberg) has 43 city-monitored CCTV cameras.
As the SJC we never supported the call from the Democratic Alliance (DA), the DA-led Western Cape Government and the DA-led City of Cape Town for the deployment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) in communities in Cape Town. The deployment of the SANDF cannot be indefinite and so those required by the Constitution to deliver safety and security resources have to develop clear plans, focused on areas that carry the highest burden of crime, and immediately implement and deliver on those plans.
We maintain that the focus should be on improving policing and on a commitment to create a safe and secure built environment. As a consequence, we have and continue to focus on the reallocation of police resources by the South African Police Service (SAPS) from areas with less crime to where violent crime and murder is concentrated, and the allocation of public lighting and CCTV cameras by the City of Cape Town to communities most in need.
It is now clear that all three levels of government have allowed safety resources to be allocated in an irrational manner that discriminates against the poor and most vulnerable communities in this city. All three levels of government now have to urgently address these misallocations of safety and security resources across the city.
In the same opinion piece mentioned above, JP Smith labelled us as illegitimate and as “the splendidly funded but politically devious SJC”. He went on to say that in developing the master plan the City will take “guidance from legitimate community organisations”. These are attempts and tactics we have seen before from the City of Cape Town to silence us. We will not let this illiberal approach stand.
As the SJC we stand ready to work with the City by making submissions into the development of its CCTV master plan to ensure that the City allocates its resources in a rational manner cognisant of where the greatest need is. We trust the City will initiate the development of a plan without delay.
074 386 1584
Head of Policy and Research
082 460 2093
|CITY OF CAPE TOWN – CCTV CAMERA DEPLOYMENT – NOVEMBER 2018|
|WARD||GENERAL WARD DESCRIPTION||CITY MAINTAINED & MONITORED|
|3||Stikland, Oakdale, Belgravia||0|
|7||Brackenfell, Protea Village, Northpine||2|
|8||Bracken Heights, Protea Heights, Ferndale||0|
|10||Bellville CBD, Parow East, Ravensmead||28|
|13||Roosendal, The Hague, Leiden||0|
|14||Blue Downs CBD, Zevenwacht, Blackheath Industria||1|
|15||Heldeberg, Westridge – Somerset West||1|
|17||Rosedale, Forest Heights||1|
|18||Thembokwezi – Khayelitsha||2|
|19||Wembley Park, Highbury Park||1|
|22||Belhar, Parow Industria||10|
|23||Melkbos Strand, Blouberg||11|
|24||Bishop Lavis, Airport||3|
|25||Florida, Cravenby, Uitsig||3|
|26||Richmond, Beaconvale, Elsies River Industria||13|
|28||Elsies River, Avonwood||3|
|30||Ruyterwacht, Matroosfontein, Valhalla Park||9|
|31||Nooitgedacht, Montana, Montevideo||3|
|33||Sweet Home, Browns Farm, Philippi||1|
|35||Philippi East, Marikana Informal Settlement||0|
|43||Philippi Horticultural Area, Strandfontein||4|
|46||Rylands, Gatesville, Surrey Estate||9|
|48||Belgravia, Belthorn Estate||0|
|49||Silvertown, Athlone, Hazendal, Kewtown||33|
|52||Langa, Joe Slovo||19|
|53||Pinelands, Maitland, Thornton||1|
|54||Camps Bay, Sea Point||18|
|57||Observatory, Mowbray, Rosebank||35|
|58||Rondebosch, Claremont, Kenilworth||3|
|60||Rondebosch East, Lansdowne, Sybrand Park||1|
|61||Kommetjie, Ocean View, Simon’s Town, Scarborough||0|
|64||Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, Muizenberg||1|
|66||Parkwood, Lotus River||1|
|67||Vrygrond, Sea Winds, Pelican Park||0|
|68||Steenberg, Lavender Hill||5|
|74||Hout Bay, Llandudno||8|
|75||Colorado Park, Woodlands – Mitchells Plain||2|
|77||Oranjezicht, Tamboerskloof, Vredehoek, Bo-Kaap, “Zonnebloem”||9|
|79||Mitchells Plain CBD, Eastridge, Beacon Valley||31|
|81||Rocklands – Mitchells Plain||0|
|82||Tafelsig – Mitchells Plain||0|
|84||Somerset West, Sir Lowry’s Pass||2|
|87||Site C – Khayelitsha||3|
|89||BM Section – Khayelitsha||2|
|90||TR Section – Khayelitsha||3|
|91||Site B – Khayelitsha||4|
|92||Ilitha Park, Khaya – Khayelitsha||2|
|93||SST, BM Section – Khayelitsha||3|
|94||Eyethu, Silvertown, Mandela Park – Khayelitsha||10|
|95||Makhaza, Enkanini, Monwabisi – Khayelitsha||0|
|96||Driftsands, Makhaza – Khayelitsha||2|
|97||Kuyasa – Khayelitsha||1|
|98||Harare – Khayelitsha||1|
|99||Endlovini, Monwabisi Park – Khayelitsha, Tafelsig – Mitchells Plain||0|
|100||Gordons Bay, Strand||0|
|101||Bloekombos, Wallacedean, Kraaifontein East||0|
|102||Vredekloof, Windosr Estate||7|
|103||Sonstraal Heights, Avalon Estate, Kraaifontein||3|
|105||Cape Farms, Durbanville North||3|
|107||Blouberg, Table View||14|
|108||Mfuleni, Blue Downs||0|
|116||Ikwezi Park, Beacon Valley||5|