Cape Town - The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) has accused the City of misleading the public about a master plan to roll out CCTV cameras across the city.
This comes after the SJC made a formal Public Access to Information Act application to gain access to the master plan.
Last Friday, they received a response from the City’s deputy information officer.
The correspondence informed them that the record they applied for, the “City of Cape Town CCTV master plan”, “does not exist”.
SJC spokesperson Sarah Summers said: “This means that the mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith’s previous public claim that the City has such a plan was a lie.
“This means that the City has been spending money on installing, maintaining and monitoring CCTV cameras with no clear plan or strategy.”
Summers said the organisation had engaged with the City on a number of occasions and requested a copy of the master plan three times. City officials had ignored all three requests.
A CCTV master plan’s purpose would be to give clear direction on the use of CCTV cameras. The City’s CCTV surveillance plan is one of its plans to try to stop crime in certain areas.
The SJC said that despite limited resources, the City, and Smith, had allowed safety resources to be allocated with no assessment as to where the need was great.
“This is a dereliction of duty and shows a lack of care, given the extent of violence across Cape Town and given the strains placed on the public purse.
“It is now clear that all three levels of government have allowed safety resources to be allocated in an irrational manner that discriminates against the poor and most vulnerable communities in this city. All three levels of government now have to urgently address these misallocations of safety and security resources across the city,” Summers said.
The City has previously maintained that it does have a CCTV master plan, but it is currently being revised to take into account crime statistics and population figures.
Smith dismissed the SJC’s claims. “The City most certainly has a CCTV master plan. In recent months, the City has made it clear that the existing plan is outdated and that a process is under way to formulate an updated document.
“We specifically walked away from it because we said it was not a dynamic enough process and aged too rapidly, and that we would annually ask the SAPS for a threat assessment and, on a more dynamic basis than a static plan, determine the roll-out of cameras in response to the crime stats and SAPS threat assessment.”
He added that the SJC should not play politics with crime and safety.
“As indicated, there is a plan, so there has been no lie. Once again, the SJC has gone into all-out attack mode instead of engaging the City in a constructive manner.”