Jo’burg delegation impressed with Safe City’s system

2018-11-27 15:54
Safe City control room operators Princess Mncwabe (left) and Mary Khoza show off the Safe City system which so impressed City of Jo’burg officials last week that they are looking at running a similar system there.

Safe City control room operators Princess Mncwabe (left) and Mary Khoza show off the Safe City system which so impressed City of Jo’burg officials last week that they are looking at running a similar system there. (Ian Carbutt)

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A senior delegation from the City of Jo’burg is so impressed with Msunduzi’s Safe City operation that they want to implement a similar system there.

The councillors and senior officials spent three hours with Safe City last week learning about its control room, cameras and operating systems.

Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen said on Monday he “was absolutely flabbergasted” when he heard the City of Johannesburg wanted to visit the control room to see how it was run.

“Pietermaritzburg is a small city and Johannesburg is so big. We felt honoured,” said Holtzhausen.

“The officials came to our offices where we did a presentation for them and showed them how we run the control room.

“They told us they were blown away by it all.”

Holtzhausen said Johannesburg, like Pietermaritzburg, has cameras across the city, however, the “manner in which they apply their system is problematic”.

“Johannesburg has around 300 cameras while Pietermaritzburg has 169.

“A lot of the cameras monitor our substations and involve artificial intelligence surveillance.”

He said the cameras had a loud speaker system as well as a talk back system (like a walkie-talkie) which the Johannesburg officials were “blown away by”.

Johannesburg Section 79 committee chairperson for public safety, Hilton Masera, was among the officials who visited Safe City.

“It was absolutely amazing. We learned a lot,” said Masera.

“It was all very interesting and we were surprised to see how much they achieve with so little resources.”

Masera said he had been most excited about the cameras with the PA systems.

“I will hopefully sit down with the committee on December 3.

“We would like to start a pilot project that is similar to the Safe City system.

“We want to stop crime and catch criminals.”

Holtzhausen said Safe City would visit Johannesburg’s operations room in the new year.

“Hopefully we can learn from each other. I just feel very honoured that a big city is interested in our operations,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi safe city
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