The affordable education loan option
Cape Town - Security companies and neighbourhood watches will have to apply to the city and comply with several conditions before they can erect their guard huts on council property.
The hut’s size, signage and even material will be regulated by new guidelines.
Security companies and neighbourhood watches may not allow their huts to stand empty - they must be used daily to comply with municipal guidelines.
The draft policy, which is available for public comment until September 30, says any applications to build security huts on the reserves of scenic drives or routes, or within 50m of national heritage sites, will not be considered.
Security huts for an individual private property must be within that property’s boundary. And if visible from the road they may not be next to the driveway.
The policy stipulates 24 conditions of approval for a security hut, including what it looks like and the operational requirements.
A security company wanting to put up a hut must be registered with the Private Security Industry Regulating Authority - “The only security huts permitted to be placed within the reserves of municipal roads/streets will be those used and managed by a registered security company that has engaged with the local community to service a defined area or a neighbourhood watch registered with the local police station.”
The hut cannot be bigger than 1.8m square, must be made of wood, and can have no projections from the top, sides, front or back.
Advertising sign boards may be no bigger than 600mm by 400mm, and may not be lit up at night. Only three security huts will be allowed in a contracted area, and no ablution facilities will be allowed.
The hut may not obstruct pedestrians or cars. Fitting a hut with electricity, lighting and cameras will be considered only in exceptional cases.
Authority for a security hut will only be granted for 24 months before an new application will have to be submitted. The security company will have to maintain the hut, and its surrounding areas.
The Pinelands Ratepayers’ Association said it would discuss the policy at its next meeting before commenting.
Monica Sutherland, of the Rondebosch Rosebank Ratepayers’ and Businesses’ Association, said the huts were an effective deterrent to criminals. Some of the huts moved around, depending on the reports of crime in the area.
Rob Dale, managing director of ADT Security Western Cape, said the company supported the proposed policy: “A need exists in our communities to improve neighbourhood security through the deployment of on-site resources. There is currently no policy that regulates applications around erecting security huts and ADT will review the draft policy before giving any detailed comment. We will submit our comments to the city.”
The city’s draft policy says “changing and rising crime patterns” had led to a proliferation of security huts within municipal roads, street reserves, parks and open spaces.
The applications will be considered by the subcouncil and by the relevant district managers of the Transport for Cape Town directorate. There will be two fees - an application fee and a site rental fee for each hut that is put up. Only security huts on council land will be affected by the policy.