Big brother eyes quarry activities

2016-05-24 06:00

A CCTV camera installed at the Wash House Quarry has already yielded successes, after running for only three weeks.

The camera was installed to address criminal activity at the quarry, which houses an informal settlement referred to as Kraal.

Of the 23 families living there, all but five have been relocated to a housing development in Pelican Park (“Divided over relocation”, People’s Post 17 March 2015).

Ward councillor Dave Bryant says of the remaining families, one family declined to move, while the other four have experienced delays around their paperwork.

Benedicta van Minnen, Mayco member for human settlements, previously told People’s Post that the relocation “will afford families better and more dignified living conditions”.

The quarry site is also often used as a hideout for criminals, which not only affects the Kraal residents, but also the broader community of Bo-Kaap and Cape Town, she says.

To address this criminal activity, the City of Cape Town is securing the site, says Bryant (“Security moving in”, People’s Post 23 February).

The first of these measures was to install a CCTV camera to monitor the quarry and Chiappini Street, an access point to the Bo-Kaap, and also help pick up on suspicious cars.

Costing around R165 000 from the ward 77 budget, the camera is linked to the City’s camera system and will be monitored 24 hours a day, Bryant previously told People’s Post (“City to have eyes on crime”, 28 July 2015).

As the quarry has been identified as a major source of crime across the Bo-Kaap, the CBD and Green Point, the camera will enable enforcement agencies to monitor activities in and around the site, Bryant says.

“The camera has been monitoring the area for the past three weeks. During this time they have spotted a number of incidents, including a drug deal. The CCTV unit alerted the police who responded immediately. The suspects fled, but a search was undertaken at the site and nine packets of tik, 44 sticks of dagga and six mandrax tablets were found and confiscated,” he says.

Improved lighting is planned for the area which will make the camera more effective at night as well when many of the incidents are taking place, Bryant says.

Trespassing signage was also erected two weeks ago. “The sign aims to advise those who are not legally entitled to reside on the site that they are trespassing. It will give the police greater powers to act against those who are occupying the site illegally. Currently only four structures remaining from the original historic settlement of 23 structures and their tenants are allowed to occupy the site,” he says.

It is hoped fencing will be installed by the end of this financial year, Bryant adds.

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