Soweto's Vilikazi Street gets high tech CCTV cameras

Johannesburg - The City of Johannesburg announced on Wednesday that it has installed 25 high tech CCTV cameras in Soweto's popular Vilikazi Street.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba said the death of slain Sakhumzi restaurant manager Khwesi Hudson had prompted him to take action.

Hudson, 60, was gunned down in January this year in the early hours of closing time by two gunmen.

More than 700 people are employed by restaurants in the street.

When Mashaba visited at the time of Hudson's death, he promised that the city would install CCTV cameras to enhance the safety of business owners, the public and tourists visiting the popular area.

“Today’s event is dedicated to the memory of the late Mr Hudson, and others like him, who have fallen victim to crime,” Mashaba said.

Mashaba said five strategic points were identified where the CCTV cameras were ultimately installed.

The cameras run on fibre optics and are connected to the Department of Safety’s Intelligence Operation Centre (IOC). They would be monitored 24 hours a day.

The high tech CCTV cameras can zoom in to more than 150 meters in any direction. It provides full high definition images, can calculate the number of people, identify an abandoned or removed object, and detect intruders in secure areas.

Mashaba said they would monitor the area around the clock for any possible criminal activities.  

The Department of Public Safety had also included Vilakazi Street as part of its Smart City Rollout Plan.

“With the surveillance by these cameras, I hope that as a city we can positively contribute to ensuring that the business owners in this street, and the broader area as a whole, conduct their affairs in a safe environment.”
He said tourism is one of the drivers contributing to the city’s goal of achieving 5% economic growth by 2021, adding that it is one of the country’s most profitable sectors.

Vilikazi Street is well known for the Nelson Mandela National Museum, which was where Madiba lived between 1946 and 1962.

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