Kouga Municipality is set to launch an integrated intelligent operation centre in Humansdorp within the next week – clamping down on escalating crime in the region and neighbouring towns.
This after the first successful community safety workshop at Mentors Country Estate, which forms an integral part of the Keep Kouga Safe Campaign launched in September last year.
Hosted by retired General Major, Roland de Vries, the workshop – which focused on preventing and combating crime through a collective approach – brought together safety and security experts from across the region, as well as residents and business owners for three days of brainstorming to lay the foundation of an effective community safety plan.
“With the use of technology, including CCTV cameras, the integrated intelligent operation centre will direct and orchestrate the community safety plan on a 24/7 basis,” said Community Services Portfolio Councillor, Daniel Benson.
“The centre will work in close collaboration with all relevant role players, including the South African Police Service, agricultural and civic rights organisations, municipal departments, law enforcement and emergencies agencies, NSRI, nature reserves, private security companies, businesses, schools and churches.”
In addition to the centre, five community safety units will be established:
Sector 10: Jeffreys Bay and the surrounding informal settlements and rural homesteads
Sector 20: Humansdorp and Cape St Francis
Sector 30: Gamtoos Valley (Baviaans, Patensie, Hankey, Loerie, Crossways, Thornhill, and Gamtoos Mouth)
Sector 40: Oyster Bay
Sector 50: Tsitsikamma, Kareedouw and Stormsriver.
According to Benson, given the escalating threat of crime and terror in many regions and the rapid degeneration of political, economic, and social conditions, communities need to take control of their own safety to the best of their ability.
“Community safety in this regard aims to empower communities to pursue self- protection in hope, trust, and faith,” he said. “It also implies courage and perseverance to develop own potential to help combat all forms of crime effectively.”
According to him, crime affects all our daily lives and hampers economic growth. “It scares of investors and impacts negatively on industries such as tourism on which our region relies heavily for job creation and security,” he said. “Addressing crime effectively
is, therefore, essential to improve the socio-economic circumstances of our communities.
“Together we can make Kouga Municipality the safest municipality in South Africa to live, work and play.”