City establishes special unit to guard its facilities

Fifty facility protection officers have been deployed to Nyanga and Gugulethu to guard municipal facilities from vandals.

The City of Cape Town has created a special unit to guard its facilities against a rising tide of vandalism.

JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety, security and social services launched the facility protection officers project at the Gugulethu sports complex on Wednesday February 15.

Fifty neighbourhood members have so far been recruited and trained as facility protection officers, and they will be deployed to 10 facilities in Nyanga and Gugulethu.

Mr Smith said the City would stop using private security guards because they had not been doing a good enough job. The new project would create jobs for local people who knew the communities well and were likely to achieve better results than outsiders.

“We have been paying private security firms, but we did not get good results. We want to try something different,” he said.

The project, he said, would also help to ease pressure on police stations.

“This is a pilot project so you have to deliver. You have to show us that it works. This is an experiment to us. So we all have something to prove,” he said.Gugulethu councillor Mhimhi Manata praised the project and said its success depended on how well the officers performed. “They need to keep up the good work and not let us down,” she said.