Category Archives: Our Safety Initiatives

Welcoming 2024 – Let’s Create A Better Salt River Together

Working together with residents, local businesses and urban management specialists to create a rich urban environment where the Salt River community can thrive, we – the Salt River Business Improvement District – welcome 2024 with the new challenges and opportunities it will provide. Together with the City of Cape Town, our partners, outreach initiatives and you, we will continue to strive towards reinvigorating our urban environment.

Aligned in our collective mission, we are committed to cultivating a thriving urban ecosystem that is safe, accessible and inviting to all the workers, visitors and community members of our district. We are unwavering in our commitment to the property and business owners of our area and intend to consolidate and elevate our services based on the successes of last year.

Please feel free to contact us at any time with queries or concerns and be reminded of our 24-hour security control room number for public safety incidents.

For Public Safety Emergencies Contact

24-hour Geocentric Control Room: 021 565 0900

Let’s embark on this journey together, embracing the challenges and opportunities that 2024 presents, as we collectively shape the future of our Salt River community. Together we can create a stable, safe, clean area that is prosperous for our community both economically and socially.

Safety & Fire During the Hot, Dry and Windy Cape Town Summer Months

Cape Town fire season occurs from November through May. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe.

Cape Town is notoriously prone to wildfires that occur in natural vegetation when it is hot and dry in the summer months, which coincide with the windy season – creating ideal conditions for wildfires to occur and quickly get out of control. This season has already been earmarked to be the worst fire season in 8 years.

Cape Town fires are particularly common in the Table Mountain National Park due to the natural conditions in our fynbos ecosystem. But, homes and businesses are not exempt from danger, as any fire can spread quickly and far – up to tens of kilometres from the source. It is most important to keep your home, family and business safe, protecting life and property, as our urban living spaces share a boundary with the national parks in many parts of Cape Town and the Western Cape.

By 18 January 2024, there had been a total of 22 new fire incidents, with SANParks firefighting teams demonstrating swift response and effective containment. This influx has occurred particularly in the southern section of Table Mountain National Park, in Kalk Bay, Oceanview and Red Hill areas, as well as in the north of the park, in the Signal Hill and Pipe Track areas, posing significant risk to the communities living adjacent to the park, particularly with hot temperatures and strong wind conditions being experienced.

Fire Safety Precautions & Interventions

In Cape Town, there are various organisations in place to manage fire safety and interventions that should be taken, both to avoid fire and to control it when it happens. 

Home and work checklist for fire safety

  • Always have a “grab bag” with your important documents in it such as birth certificates and passports.
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to family members or staff such as placing pets or kids in the car and driving them to safety at a friend’s house out of smoke danger.
  • Run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • Wetting the roof and gutters can stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short grass helps slow down fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready to put out fires.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in kitchens and train staff or family members how to use it.
  • If you volunteer on the mountain in a wildfire, take a spade  –  this helps to beat out fire or throw sand on smouldering grass tufts.
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 

Each year, the City of Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Service contracts the use of two Huey helicopters and a Cessna 182 spotter plane to support its firefighting efforts. These aircraft allow for mountain wildfires to be combated in inaccessible areas that pose a serious risk to property and life.

For the first time since using the aerial appliances, they are now branded this season, clearly identifiable as City resources.

Emergency & Contact information

Fire and Rescue Service Department

24-hour emergencies:

Telephone: 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)

General fire safety enquiries:

Telephone: 021 590 1971 / 021 590 1975

To report a fire in the Table Mountain National Park

Please call:

  • Hotline: 086 110 6417 or
  • The City’s Regional Fire Control No: (021) 590 1900
  • Newlands Fire Base: Tel: +27(0) 21 689 7438

Fire Prevention Tips

There are simple preventatives we can all pay heed to – such as not lighting a fire or braai on a hot and windy day, and never extinguishing a cigarette out of doors, such as out of a car window, in grass or when hiking.

For property owners, ember-proofing any area requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 

Other interventions that you can implement on a larger scale include considering your construction materials if you are remodelling and supplementing them for fire-resistant alternatives. You should also ensure full continued compliance with all local and national fire safety codes and think about installing fire protection systems such as overhead sprinklers. 

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, a fire can happen to any size business at any time. That is why protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority. Following the above steps will help you avoid any fires breaking out and minimise fire-related damages. While there may be no such thing as truly “fireproof,” these guidelines are an excellent starting point for safeguarding your business. 

Resources

Western Cape Government

City of Cape Town

Sanparks

Facebook

Salt River Business Improvement District 2023 Roundup

It’s been another year of successes and tackling challenges head-on for the Salt River Business Improvement District. As part of our renewed commitment to public safety and urban cleaning and management, we persist in leading the way toward the continuous improvement of Salt River as a thriving business and residential hub.

Our CID team has increased their presence on the ground, resulting in improved statistics across the board for 2023. We’ve driven more kilometres in our patrol vehicles, engaged with more members of the public and attended to more service requests and urban defects than ever before. We’ll continue with this increased presence in the community in 2024 and the years beyond.

This year, with 51 CIDs now in operation in the City of Cape Town, the new CID by-law and policy has come into effect. Geocentric, who has now been working with city improvement district initiatives for more than 2 decades, is proud to be responsible for over 25% of the total CIDs in operation. 

In addition to taking care of the public’s safety and urban cleaning, our CID placed a focus on greening areas across Salt River in 2023. These urban beautification projects will be continued throughout 2024, in line with the goal of continuously upgrading our community. 

2023 Salt River Business Improvement District Stats

“Despite the challenges of a struggling economy, ongoing load shedding and higher fuel prices, the aim of the SRBID remained focussed on delivering top-up services to the public spaces of Salt River throughout the year,” says Gene Lohrentz of Geocentric Urban Management, tasked with the delivery of our City Improvement District services.

The SRBID Board and Geocentric management team is committed to finding innovative, efficient and cost-effective ways to continue delivering on the vision for a safer, cleaner, well-maintained and vibrant community.  We look forward to more opportunities to make a tangible difference in 2024.

Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

As the festive season approaches, it is essential to prioritise safety at this time, as crime, accidents and fire hazards are usually on the rise during the holiday period.

Being mindful of potential risks and hazards can help safeguard you, your business and your property – from road safety considerations to vigilance against petty crimes in crowded business premises to more serious crimes such as hijacking and robbery. 

Along with keeping your personal safety in mind, if you are a business owner, it is imperative to be vigilant and proactive in implementing strategies that protect your assets, property and staff during the busiest time of year. 

Prevention is better than cure. That’s why we urge property and business owners to make every effort to prepare their properties, businesses, staff and themselves against opportunists and criminals with our safety tips below:

Emergency Numbers

Quick access to relevant emergency numbers can be the difference between life and death. We have compiled a comprehensive list for you to save and share for easy access to these numbers.

Once again, our 24-hour security control room is always available for your public safety emergencies.

Whatsapp group info 

If you’re interested in staying informed about our initiatives, as well as the newest developments in your improvement district, you can become a member of our SRBID business WhatsApp group by:

• Sending a WhatsApp message to 081 869 8911.

• You will need to include your Name and Surname or the name of your business

• You will need to include your street address, which should be within the boundary of the CID

• We will add you to the relevant CID Community Group

Rules and regulations for communicating will be stipulated in the group.

Are You Ready to Go with the Cape Town Winter Flow? Essential Tips for a Smooth Season + Loadshedding Updates from the City

As the chilly and wet winter season approaches, it’s time to prepare ourselves for the unique challenges and delights that it brings.

From the brisk air to the rain-soaked streets, Cape Town winter demands our attention and readiness. Here, we explore practical tips to help you navigate the winter months with ease. From maintaining your home and business’ functionality to prioritising safety on the roads, these essential suggestions will ensure you’re well-prepared to go with the flow this winter. Let’s dive in and discover how to make the most of the wet season while keeping everything running smoothly.

Cape Town winter readiness tips

Are You Ready to Go with the Winter Flow?

Clear the Clutter from Your Gutter
Keep your gutters in optimal condition by ensuring they are undamaged, securely attached to your building, and free from any branches.

Shine A Little Light
Combat the winter darkness by checking your outdoor lights. Make sure they are waterproof, functioning properly, and free from obstructions.

Trim Your Trees
Give your trees the care they deserve. Trim any dead, diseased, or damaged branches to prevent breakage during storms.

Stop the Slip
Create a safe environment by adding doormats, anti-slip coatings, and slip grip strips to stairs and slippery tiles, reducing the risk of accidents.

Clean Your Cameras
Maintain clear visibility by cleaning the lenses of your cameras. Remove dust particles that can cause a muddy mess when it rains.

Be Reliably Roadworthy
Ensure the safety and punctuality of your employees by keeping your vehicle fleet in top shape. Check headlights, rear and brake lights, tyre tread, and windshield wipers.

Protect Our Pedestrians
Promote pedestrian safety by encouraging your staff to wear bright reflective clothing and to drive with caution on the roads.

Report and Respond
Take action when needed. Report instances of flooding or blocked drains through www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests or the Call Centre on 0860 103 089. Power outages can be reported via SMS to 31220 or email power@capetown.gov.za. In case of emergencies, dial 107 from a landline or 021 480 7700 from a cell phone to reach the Public Emergency Communication Centre.
Read more: Are You Ready to Go with the Cape Town Winter Flow? Essential Tips for a Smooth Season + Loadshedding Updates from the City

City Update: Top new load-shedding trends impacting Cape Town’s neighbourhoods

Constant load-shedding at high stages and the Cape Town winter demand is bringing new load-shedding-related trends to the fore while some existing impacts.  

‘The City is closely monitoring the Eskom situation. There are new trends caused by load-shedding that are having an impact on neighbourhoods and in some cases, existing load-shedding impacts have worsened. There is a lot of pressure on our energy teams on the ground. Not only are the same teams doing all the load-shedding-related work in addition to the normal maintenance and repairs, but due to the long outages per day, the window in which to effect repairs has also been halved. This is impacting services and we thank customers for understanding that we are in an extraordinary situation and all of our teams, across City departments in fact, will continue to do their best to assist residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Energy, Councillor Beverley van Reenen.  

Impact of load-shedding and new trends

  1. Shorter-than-scheduled load-shedding: With the non-stop Eskom load-shedding at high stages, especially Stage 6 load-shedding, Eskom is sometimes ‘over-shedding’. It must then suddenly move to a lower stage to prevent system instability. The change is so abrupt, that it is impossible to communicate timeously. Unfortunately, the City does not have control over this.
  2. Overloading of the system due to peak-time demand spikes between 16:00 and 21:00: Geysers, pool pumps, uninterrupted power supplies and other electrical equipment left on when the power goes off for load-shedding all come back on at the same time when load-shedding is over. This overloads the system so areas can’t be switched on at the same time. What makes the situation even worse, where network trips after a load-shedding cycle, the City cannot assume it is due to overloading of the network. The network must be physically inspected for damage, theft or vandalism and it is thus extra time consuming to restore the supply. 
  3. Protecting the grid by switching on in phases: To prevent large area outages, the City is now switching power back on in phases. This means the City is making full use of the switching window it has. As an example: shedding takes place between 20:00 and 22:00 with a window of approximately 30 minutes to switch everyone back on, provided it can be done without harming the power grid.
  1. Increase in very short notice of load-shedding changes and many changes in a day (or even an hour!): The City will continue to do its best to provide information as timeously as possible on its social media pages and website.
  2. City protection stretched: The City tries to provide up to two stages of load-shedding protection where feasible. At the high stages of load-shedding, it becomes more challenging. Over weekends, when the demand is lower, the City often sheds close to the same stage as Eskom to build reserves for the week ahead. It does the maintenance of the Steenbras plant too.
  3. Service requests spike and delays: Often a fault takes longer to repair as teams have to wait for the end of load-shedding before work can be completed. This might add a few hours to the request. Also, where we previously had a 24-hour window for repairs under normal circumstances, with higher load-shedding intervals, the window has shrunk to 10 or less hours a day to do the same repairs with the same staff in half the time. This is leading to backlogs.
  4. Storm-related damage on top of load-shedding-related outages placing pressure on teams.
  5. More household electrical appliance damage due to power surges when the power comes back on after load-shedding: This happens when electrical appliances are not switched off prior to the power coming back on. This is most evident where home installations do not have surge protection devices fitted and it is recommended that all consumers utilise registered electrical contractors to fit such surge protection devices.
  6. Reduced planned maintenance: To avoid further inconvenience for the public and also due to the stretched capacity of our staff, planned maintenance is suspended during elevated levels of load-shedding resulting in a build-up of maintenance backlog.  This will have an impact on the distribution network beyond load-shedding.
  7. Vandalism and theft increase: Load-shedding creates a window of opportunity for vandalism and theft of electricity infrastructure. Residents are reminded to remain vigilant and report incidents. The City offers a R5 000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

We leave some streetlights on to deter vandals and criminals. The cost of leaving the lights on are minuscule compared with the cost of replacing the damaged infrastructure. City teams and law enforcement monitors hotspots but the situation is intense.

Report incidents by:

SMS: 31220

Email: power@capetown.gov.za

  1. Increased violence against City teams: Assaults and robberies of teams on the ground often affects repair work.

Explainer: What happens when Eskom declares a certain stage of load-shedding?

  • The City and Eskom’s electricity control rooms remain in contact. The City’s control room is staffed 24/7.
  • Once Eskom has declared a particular stage, and the City’s control room has been notified, the City demand is determined, and depending on the Eskom stage, how much protection the City is able to offer through its Steenbras Hydro Pumped Storage Scheme. The City aims to protect by up to two stages where possible, especially in the lower stages of load-shedding. Areas are switched remotely as per the schedule from the network control centre. Each area is switched remotely from a substation in that area. If there is a problem with the switching, operators need to be physically dispatched to resolve the issue. Although there is a central system for switching, it cannot be applied in all areas due to the configuration of the grid and also exclusions that apply, such as for hospitals.
  • This City’s electricity generation plan is conveyed to the communication team who writes up the new notice as fast as possible and sends it to the City’s social media channels and the City’s website for publication, day and night, and over weekends.
  • Sometimes, there are some communication delays for instance if the City is awaiting the declaration from Eskom or if there are changes in the middle of the night.
  • Sometimes, alerts must be revised a couple of times due to the Eskom situation changing multiple times in a short space of time.
traffic lights cape town out

Important tips

  • Communication and connectivity: keep devices charged, find out which parts of the metro will have power
  • A family plan: Staying in touch with our vulnerable friends and families; children, learners, teachers, elderly, those living on their own requiring assistance
  • A work plan for health and safety and productivity: reducing the number of people having to travel and occupy an office; how to keep operations safe 
  • Keep cash at hand
  • Keep fuel in the car  
  • Store medications and perishable items safely
  • Secure your property and business 
  • Support your local Neighbourhood Watch 
  • Follow the City’s social media pages
  • Private travel and public commuting: check the impact of load-shedding
  • Congestion and traffic: Treat intersections where the lights are out as four-way stops

Progress of other components of the load-shedding protection plan:

  • City’s biggest power tender, a 500 MW dispatchable energy tender issued on 6 April 2023.
  • Phase 1 of the 200 MW renewable energy from IPPs tender: Contracts for this phase remain on track for final awarding within 2023.
  • Power Heroes Programme tender: Process for the awarding of contracts under way. This is an initiative to unlock incentives for residents through third parties for voluntary energy savings, which will entail automated remote switching off of power-intensive devices at peak times.
  • Cash for Power feed-in tariff increased by 10,15% for 2023/24, plus 25c per kWh incentive: Cape Town is the first city in the country to offer households and businesses cash for their excess rooftop solar power.

Staying Egg-xtra safe on the roads this Easter

As we approach the Easter weekend many families are looking forward to much needed time spent bonding over easter egg hunts and delicious lunches. However, as we all travel to our destinations, the days leading up to Easter weekend see many more motorists driving further in the first rains of our wet season.

As we set off in these conditions, we urge all motorists to take extreme caution and increase their awareness of the common causes of accidents and other road-users safety.

Here are our top tips for travelling safely this Easter weekend.

Check your vehicle.  

Many accidents happen due to vehicles not reacting to a driver’s delayed response If you are travelling in heavy rain, use the brightest setting for your head and tail lights to improve visibility. Ensure that your wiper blades are in good condition as spray from other vehicles reduces visibility considerably so take extra care when overtaking or being overtaken. Braking is significantly impacted by the tread on your tyres so make sure you have sufficient tread. If you experience car trouble, turn on your hazard lights as bright as you can, set up additional warning signs if you have them in your car and pull off the road. Remain seated inside the car especially at night, as glare from your hazards may make it difficult for oncoming traffic to see you. 

For more information on how to check your vehicle watch the Arrive Alice video below 

Leave early and take breaks. 

Due to the increasing amount of vehicles on the road drivers should leave earlier and be prepared for delays on the roads during poor weather conditions. This will help you avoid any abrupt acceleration, excessive speed and sudden steering movements which are the main culprits of accidents. Additionally, adjust your speed and following distance – five to seven seconds to break –  to ensure that you can stop safely.

Drivers’ fatigue – caused by long-distance driving after a long day at work or a late night – is also a major contributor to fatal accidents. Emotional stress, lack of sleep, boredom and sun glare all cause fatigue so make sure to get a good seven hours of sleep before you travel. Additionally, for most of us, our sleep-wake cycle is set to be resting between 2 am and 6 am so try not to travel in these low light early hours of the morning. 

If you are tired, stop and have a rest. Signs that you are too tired to drive include your eyes shutting, daydreaming, swerving, crankiness, restlessness and frequent yawning or eye rubbing. 

Remain aware of other road users. 

Last year, approximately 35% of the people who died on the roads over the Easter long weekend were pedestrians – making them the group most affected by accidents. Please remain aware of the sides of the road, particularly when travelling between towns as many people hitchhike to see their families. In areas of particular interest, there will also be signs alerting you to remain vigilant. Once you have spotted a pedestrian, slow down and give them lots of space until you have passed them fully as those who have consumed alcohol are likely to make dangerous decisions. If you can, plan to avoid driving in low light conditions as these combined with bad weather make other road users far more difficult to see. 

Do not drink and drive – at all. 

According to the new amendments in the National Road Traffic Act, anyone caught with blood that has an alcohol content of more than 0.05% will be arrested, charged with Driving Under the Influence of Liquor and held in custody until they can post bail if bail is not denied. Depending on your record, and the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you face the loss of your driver’s licence, a criminal record, a minimum fine of R2 000, a two-year prison sentence, or all of the above. 

To put 0.05% into perspective any more than 350ml of beer, or a single tot of Brandy puts you over the limit with these levels of alcohol remaining in your system for up to eight hours after consumption. 

Be aware of the signs of other drivers who may be drunk around you, such as weaving between lanes, accelerating and braking erratically or displaying delayed responses. If you think another driver is intoxicated, put more distance between yourselves and them as quickly and safely as you can. Please also report it by contacting the City’s Law Enforcement, Traffic and Coordination Department by calling 021 480 7700 or the National Traffic Call Centre on 086 140 0800.

By making sure we have road safe vehicles, taking our time getting where we are going, respecting the pedestrians on our roads and never getting on the roads intoxicated we ensure that all of us can enjoy safer roads this Easter. 

Headlines From The City

City’s budget will do more to clean up our Mother City

City serious about diverting organic waste from landfills

Comment on the City’s draft Integrated Development Plan 2022 – 2027

Featured image credits : <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/photos/green-road’>Green road photo created by 4045 – www.freepik.com</a>

Trial By Fire – Fire Safety In Cape Town’s Summer

Cape Town fires 2021. Source: Associated Press.

Cape Town’s fire season occurs from November through to May which are our hottest, and driest months. Together with our beloved south-easterly “Cape Doctor” – which adores clearing our city of pollution – these arid conditions create ideal opportunities for wildfires to spark and quickly rage out of control. 

From our homes and businesses to our beloved Table Mountain National Park, there are various organisations in place to manage fire safety and intervene both to avoid fires and to control them when they happen. 

It’s true that fires are a part of the South African landscape and occur naturally in grasslands, woodlands, fynbos, and sometimes in indigenous forests. However, there has been a disastrous loss of natural diversity in our fynbos ecosystem and an invasion of Australian wattles, Eucalypts and Mediterranean pines. Now, our fires burn hotter for longer and each fire destroys more than the last. Meaning it’s more important now than ever to actively keep your home, family and business safe and to protect the life and value they hold. 

Home and Work Checklist for Fire Safety

  • Ember-proofing any area, requires the removal of all flammable plants up to 7m from a building, as well as overhanging branches. Checking and cleaning gutters and roofing for debris is important too. 
  • Always remember, your safety is first and if you are not properly trained, call for assistance. 
  • Make sure that all your insurance documents and other important documentation are backed up securely to the cloud.
  • Assign tasks to staff and run fire drills so that everyone is prepared in an emergency.
  • If you need to stay and help fight fires, cover your head, nose and mouth and protect your eyes with goggles. Wear good shoes and gloves.
  • If you have access to water, wet the roof and gutters to stop hot ash from burning the roof.
  • Keep grass cut as short as possible as it helps slow the fire.
  • Keep a hose pipe rolled up and ready.
  • Keep fire extinguishers around that are regularly maintained and train your staff on how to use them safely and correctly.

Other interventions that you can implement on a larger scale include considering your construction materials if you are remodelling and supplementing them for fire-resistant alternatives. You should also ensure full continued compliance with all local and national fire safety codes and think about installing fire protection systems such as overhead sprinklers. 

Unfortunately, despite all the precautions, a fire can happen to any size business at any time. That is why protecting your employees and your property should be a top priority. Following the above steps will help you avoid any fires breaking out and minimise fire-related damages. While there may be no such thing as truly “fireproof,” these guidelines are an excellent starting point for safeguarding your business. 

Additional Resources

Preventing fires in the Western Cape

City of Cape Town  –  Basic Household Fire Safety

Fire is Everyone’s Fight Toolkit of guidelines and posters with lesson plans

Sanparks  –  Fire management / Table Mountain National Park Fire Management Plan

Contact information for  the Fire and Rescue Service Department

24-hour emergencies: 107 (landline) or 021 480 7700 (cellphone)

General fire safety enquiries: 021 590 1971 / 021 590 1975

To report a fire : Hotline: 086 110 6417 or The City’s Regional Fire Control No: (021) 590 1900

Top 10 Tips To Keep Your Store Safe This Festive Season

While many of us see the festive season as a time to kick back and relax, for the retail sector it is the busiest time of the year. With high volumes of high-value stock, seasonal staff and more capital flowing through our premises than any other time of the year staying safe is a definite priority. 

Maintaining visibility throughout your store, being alert to suspicious activity and taking precautions during the opening and closing of your facility are excellent places to start. However, there is more you can do to keep yourself, your business and your employees safe this festive season. 

10 Things To Keep Your Store Safe:

  1. Suspicious vehicles  – Be vigilant of what is around your business, especially at opening and closing times.
  2. Suspicious persons – People who intend to shoplift often wear inappropriate clothing for the weather – such as heavy coats during hot days.
  3. Be prepared for a crisis – Having a list of emergency numbers clearly visible means your employees know who to call in an emergent situation.
  4. Be prepared for crime – Placing static panic buttons in strategic areas of your store, like in the cash office, storeroom, or under the till register can help employees call for help in armed robbery scenarios.
  5. Shine a light – Keep the premises well-lit, both inside and out, especially at night so that patrols and security can clearly see potential intruders. 
  6. Travel together – Two or more staff members should leave the premises together at the end of shifts.
  7. Stay visible – Use a clearly public entrance to the business and avoid any secluded entry points not covered by surveillance cameras.
  8. Clean your cameras – Make sure all individuals can be clearly identified by the cameras as the video footage assists the SAPS with investigations.
  9. Test your cameras – Inspect your CCTV cameras regularly, ensuring they are fully functioning without any blind spots.
  10. Deposit cash ASAP – Do not keep a large amount of cash inside the store and change your pattern of banking to avoid being tracked and targeted. 

Sustainable security is a balance between a safety-conscious employee culture, a properly equipped property and employers who prioritise creating a safe working experience. Letting your customers and staff know that you care about their safety this busy season will make your customers feel safe and your staff feel valued – both of which boost your confidence and your bottom line. 

If you have any safety concerns to share, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

How to Prepare Your Property For the Festive Season

After a challenging 2021, filled with great uncertainty and change globally, many of us are looking forward to wrapping things up for a well deserved holiday with family and friends. Ensuring that your property is secure and your business protected is the best Christmas gift you can give yourself and will give you the peace of mind that will allow you to relax and recuperate. 

Here are our top tips to keep your property safe so you can enjoy the merry season: 

Protecting Your Property:

  1. Ensure you have an alarm – Have an alarm installed by a reputable security company that you trust. Effective alarm systems include armed response services, detection beams, window sensors and electric fences.  
  1. Make sure that your alarm system is working – This includes checking that the backup battery works by doing a final test with your security company. 
  1. Do a thorough physical perimeter check – Ensure there are no access points, such as gaps in the fence, that intruders could enter through.
  1. Check your access points – Make sure that all doors, gates, windows, locks, security bars and roller shutters are in proper working condition and properly locked when you leave the premises.  
  1. Remove potential tools – All wooden pallets, tires and other items that could be used to breach the perimeter of your property must be stored away and all trees and bushes must be trimmed to ensure possible intruders can’t hide in them. 
  1. Collect all keys – All copies of keys, access cards and remote controls for gates and garage doors that are not in use during your absence must be handed in and secured.
  1. Check your emergency contact – The emergency contact number should be for someone with access to ALL entry points of the property. Their contact details should be displayed on the outside of the property for emergency services to contact them in case of fire, theft or crisis. 
  1. Be prepared for an emergency – Keep a list of emergency service providers such as a plumber, electrician and general contractor handy. You should also phone them and get the details of the appropriate staff that will be on call during the festive holidays.
  1. Do your banking beforehand – Do not leave any valuable items or cash on the premises if they cannot be properly secured. 
  1. Install adequate exterior lighting – This serves both as a deterrent and to help authorities catch suspicious persons lurking near your property. Connecting outdoor lights to timers and motion sensors can also help you save on your power bill.
  1. Check the lights – All exterior lights should be in working order as they are a deterrent to criminals and essential for the detection of a potential intruder by security. 
  1. Do your CCTV camera maintenance – If you have CCTV cameras on your premises, ensure they are placed strategically with no blind spots and have been inspected and that their backup batteries are in proper working condition. 

Prevention is better than cure, and we urge all property owners to make every effort to properly prepare for the coming weeks. After a challenging year for all, we sincerely hope that you can rest easy in the knowledge that we will be working through the festive season to keep your homes and businesses safe. 

To share your story with us and stand a chance to be featured in one of our future newsletters email us at media@geocentric.co.za.

If you have any safety concerns to share, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

To contact the City of Cape Town 

Please use the City’s Customer Services call centre to request a service or query your account. You will receive a reference number that you can use to track the request. The best option is to use the City’s website www.capetown.gov.za and select ‘Service Requests’ on the home page, then follow instructions and capture each location as a separate request. The service selections and location determine to which department the request is routed by the system.

You can also send an email to the call centre contactus@capetown.gov.za for each request stating the request, location, complainant’s name, complainant’s contact details and any additional comments. 

You can also SMS 31373 (Maximum 160 characters) OR Call 086 010 3089

To report

Street People

  • Call 0800 872 201

Illegal dumping

Traffic or Taxi issues

  • Call 021 596 1999 or 0860 765 423

Drugs

  • Send an email to Drug.stop@capetown.gov.za
  • For drug treatment and support contact the City’s toll-free helpline on 0800 43 57 48 (0800 HELP 4 U).

Illegal Activity

  • Contact Law Enforcement/Metro Police on 0860 765 423 or 107

Emergency

  • In a life or property threatening situation…
  • Call 107 from a landline or 112 from a cell phone or 021 480 7700

Water and Sanitation related complaints (Burst pipe, water outage, blocked drain, etc.)

Faulty water management devices

Water restriction violation

Solid Waste Department

  • Call centre: 0860 103 089
  • Email: wastewise@capetown.gov.za

Electricity

Faults and enquiries

  • Call centre: 0860 103 089
  • Email: faultreporting.centre@capetown.gov.za
  • SMS: 31220

Seeing To Your Safety

Update On Our CCTV Camera Network

Crime is a sombre reality in South Africa that costs us dearly. Emotionally, living in fear drains us and financially, unplanned expenses due to theft can leave us grasping at straws. To do our part in creating a safer space for us all to share we are expanding and upgrading the CCTV camera network in the Salt River Business Improvement District (SRBID). 

The expansion supports our other public safety and urban management activities by sustainably decreasing criminal activity. 

In conjunction with the City of Cape Town, The SAPS, Neighbourhood Watch groups, local businesses and private individuals, we are a pivotal member of a Public Safety network with cameras that have eyesight over the critical locations of our CID. 

Allowing us to see the entire  Salt River Business Improvement District and intervene in all types of crimes to make our community safer.

Organized criminal activity targeting theft and vandalism of electrical components cost Eskom an estimated R69 000 000 in the last 18 months alone according to CEO  Andre de Ruyter. The damages to local businesses caused by interrupted power are incalculable, especially in mixed-use and industrial areas like the SRBID

The Salt River Business Improvement District’s road and communications infrastructure is also being crippled by vandalism and robbery, resulting in key road intersections, cell phone towers, and fibre networks being rendered inoperable. 

By expanding our CCTV surveillance we hope to be a significant contributor to creating a collaborative city-wide surveillance system that will prevent, identify, and neutralise criminal activity in real-time. We also know that our systems will help lawyers bring more criminals to justice and alleviate some of the load on our judicial system as they make the conviction process clearer and quicker. 

Our network is so effective due to our multifaceted approach to both the camera hardware and the data management of the surveillance systems. Our cameras are monitored on a 24/7 basis by a centralised control centre meaning we can track and stop criminal activity across districts in real-time. 

Our Cameras 

We use three types of cameras, some with infrared capabilities to see even in the dark.

– Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) cameras – These can be rotated by our trained operators to track people acting suspiciously even after they think they have walked out of frame.

– Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras – These are static cameras reading licence plates of vehicles.  The CID belongs to a recognised, well-organised user group that holds a database of suspicious vehicles.  Our LPR software generates alerts when such vehicles enter our Improvement District and place us on high alert.  Should the occupants act suspiciously we have the option of alerting the local SAPS sector patrol vehicles.

– Static cameras enabled with artificial intelligence functionality – These are static cameras and can be focused on hotspots or boundary areas such as fences.  The cameras detect the movement of vehicles and people and alert our control room and patrol vehicles of such activity.

 Our Data Management

  • Our Artificial Intelligence Cameras and Software detects even the slightest movements which help our personnel see potentially hidden persons and suspicious activities.  
  • Video Analytics can be used to interpret, study and project criminal behavioural patterns which help us aid the SAPS to bring down the syndicates that are disrupting our peace. 

Our expansion of the CCTV network is one example of how we are trying to make our community a more profitable business and residential node by creating holistic urban regeneration programmes. 

Landlords, business owners and residents of the SRBID can expect: 

  • A continued effort to decrease crime. 
  • Targeted intervention by our public safety teams
  • Improved response time
  • 24/7 monitoring by our control room.
  • Foot and vehicle patrol teams, law enforcement officers and the police equipped with essential live information to improve arrest rates. 
  • Prevention of more incidents due to the improved directing of resources. 
  • Reduced false reporting of incidences due to our ability to validate the claim instantly.
  • Progress on creating a Unified City-Wide Public Safety Network.

We are improving our current public safety plan by: 

  • Surveying the entire SRBID to identify vulnerable points to inform the next extension of our CCTV network. 
  • Targeting public safety efforts on infrastructure crime to safeguard the continuous supply of energy, water, sanitation, communication infrastructure and access to transportation.
  • Implementing mechanisms to alert our management and public safety teams to early warning signs of threats so that the distribution of our safety resources can be optimised.  

The manufacturing, education, property, hospitality and public transport industries form the backbone of our community’s livelihoods. Ultimately, our goal is to protect the people and the resources of the institutions they serve within the SRBID.  

Our sophisticated CCTV cameras use the latest technological advancements so we can streamline our prevention and intervention efforts and help bring criminals to justice.

With your help and investment, we step closer to a safer South Africa every day. And so many of you already do remarkable work in the Salt River Business Improvement District. We would love to hear your #GoodNews and how you are making our area a better place. 

To share your story with us and stand a chance to be featured in one of our future newsletters email us at media@geocentric.co.za

If you have any safety concerns to report, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room