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SAPS, eThekwini Metro invest R250m into crime-fighting initiative

The Safer Cities concept was launched in Durban on Friday by Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole.

Police van. Picture: Winnie Theletsane/EWN.

DURBAN - At least R250 million has been invested by the police and the eThekwini Municipality for a project that promises to amplify the use of technology in the fight against crime.

The Safer Cities concept was launched in Durban on Friday by Deputy Police Minister Cassel Mathale and National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole.

The concept is expected to be piloted in 10 other cities across the country, including Johannesburg and Tshwane, which are expected to contribute their own resources.

The Safer Cities concept was expected to integrate resources from the South African Police Service (SAPS), metro police, and private security companies.

Mathale said a newly built fusion centre would coordinate the crime-fighting bodies guided by technology.

“With regards to the technology, we are talking about CCTV cameras that are able to talk to each other but reporting at a central board,” Mathale said.

Despite Friday’s launch, Sitole admitted that deals with suppliers had not yet been concluded.

“The contracts that we will be entering into is with the technology companies that will be providing us with technology,” Sitole said.

With contracts yet to be signed and R250 million already invested to serve a part of eThekwini, there were fears that public funds would be looted.

However, Sitole promised that laws governing public procurement would be adhered to.

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