From the news desk

City ready for festive season

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While roadblocks have heeded positive results in clamping down on those residents who do not abide to the law, the City of Cape Town has authorised the funding for dashboard cameras which will be placed in marked and unmarked traffic and police vehicles which will not only be able to digitally capture footage of incidents but also scan motor vehicles of owners who have outstanding fines or warrants of arrest. The IT system will be implemented in February 2016.

This was one of the interventions revealed at the launch of the City’s Festive Season Preparedness Plan during a roadblock on Klipfontein Road, Athlone on Wednesday afternoon. Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille and Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith conducted numerous inspections of vehicles and alcohol tests on drivers passing through.

“All of our vehicles will be scanning number plates. This technology will be able to achieve what our roadblocks do by simply scanning and recording,” Smith explained.

“This vehicle checkpoint is the first of many interventions which will be held over the coming months to ensure the safety of residents and visitors across the city,” Smith told VOC.

Mayor Patricia De Lille tests a driver for alcohol.
Mayor Patricia De Lille tests a driver for alcohol.

The Festive Season Preparedness Plan for 2015/16 was approved by the Mayoral Committee on Tuesday. De Lille believes that investment into operations by the city’s department of Safety and Security is of utmost importance.

“We should not stop when it comes to the safety of our people and that is why I have authorised that we put more money into the hotspots such as Manenberg where the stabilisation unit has been implemented,” De Lille explained.

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The Mayor and Alderman JP Smith assess the results of the driver’s alcohol test

Joining the operations was the City’s Fire and Rescue Services. Spokesperson Theo Layne said that since the 1st – 17th November 2015, over 800 fires had already been tended to. Echoing the sentiments of De Lille, Layne attributed the reason for the astounding numbers to negligence.

“What I’ve noticed is that the number of vegetation fires has increased rapidly. We are asking the general public to make sure that they do not start fires unnecessarily. If they do, they need to extinguish fires properly as this is the windy season in Cape Town. We are requesting that everybody takes responsibility. Vegetation fires can have a devastating effect as we’ve seen on the mountain in March that took our fighters around ten days to extinguish,” Layne continued.

De Lille further called on the broader Cape Town community to be cautious and vigilant during the upcoming festive season and to work with City officials on the festive season operations to be carried out across the city. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)

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