Cape Town - While the City of Cape Town has celebrated the success of its Shotspotters, the device which tells them where shots are fired, residents say they are still living in fear as gun-wielding gangsters continue to kill and maim.
The technology was piloted in Hanover Park and Manenberg and, with the use of sensors, picks up the audio frequency of gunshots and locates the area where the shot was fired in under one minute. This allows law enforcement officers to respond rapidly.
Manenberg Community Safety Forum chairperson Roegshanda Pascoe said the Shotspotter was a waste of money as it didn't help the community.
“Just last week gang violence escalated and we had 18 fatalities, that was in one week. For the weekend we had four dead and seven injured. The Shotspotter hasn't done anything but they are bragging about how good their work is, then how can they explain the people that are dying?"
She said the technology was a waste of taxpayers' money and the money could be better used.
She said many people, like her now 19-year-old daughter, were forced to live with injuries for the rest of their lives as a result of gun violence.
“The immense trauma in itself is a fatality and people don't really heal. Sometimes people don't go outside to be shot at, it comes through your windows and your door, you can't say you are safe because you are in the house. My concern is the Shotspotter is not a preventative mechanism.”
Faiza Samuels from Hanover Park said both of her brothers were victims of gun violence, with one being shot and the other left paralysed in one arm.
“He heard gunshots outside and he went to close the door and that is when he was shot. You can be anywhere, when they want to shoot they will shoot they don't care even if you are in your own home.
“He does odd jobs now - as he gets a job, he does it. He needs to have someone helping him because he can't use both hands.”
The Cape Argus received a number of calls from residents who said they are victims of gun violence and were left injured or paralysed but many were too afraid or emotional to talk about their ordeals.
Department of Health spokesperson Mark van der Heever said since the start of this year EMS attended to 2276 calls resulting from gunshots, with Groote Schuur Hospital attending to 645 gunshot casess, with 15 spinal injuries, as a result of gunshots.
Mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said the technology won't stop gang violence on its own but has reduced the number of gun incidents.