Cameras to boost fight against crime

Ward councillor Samkelo John talks about the importance of installing of CCTV cameras in Langa.

Plans to root out crime in Langa got a massive boost recently when the City of Cape Town installed additional CCTV cameras in the area. But local leaders have expressed concerns, questioning their effectiveness.

The City said Langa had, for a long time already, had a system of CCTV cameras on the main routes around it. But last year the City decided to install the first two cameras, situated near Washington Street, in Langa and the area is set to get another one thanks to the City’s near R15 million investment in CCTV technology.

Ward councillor Samkelo John said they were happy with the cameras and believed they would contribute to curbing crime.

He said, however, the community was concerned that the cameras were not linked to the police station, but were monitored at the Goodwood operation centre by the safety and security directorate.

Mr John said residents were worried that this would slow down the response rate to criminal activity and that he had informed relevant authorities about the complaints.

Mr John added that they wanted more camera around the area, not just next to the road because Langa struggled with car hijackings, house-robberies and illegal dumping.

He attributed some of the challenges to alcohol abuse and lack of proper liquor regulation mechanism, labelling a popular drinking spot as a major contributor.

Mr John said the shebeen contributed to the escalating incidents of murder, claiming the place was open 24 hours a day.

“We envisage our area as a crime-free society. We applaud the City’s initiative but we think they should link them to the police station so that they could be more effective.

“We want our area to continue attracting tourists and boost our reputation,” he said.

The City’s mayoral committee member for safety and security; and social services, JP Smith, said continued investment in CCTV was critical.

“I’m enthused by the number of ward councillors who have started investing ward allocation funding in safeguarding their communities.

“The safety and security directorate simply doesn’t have the funding to roll out CCTV cameras at a rate that would satisfy everyone, so the ward allocations are a welcome boost to our efforts to build a safer Cape Town for all,” he said.