Metro police’s smart policing plan

Acting head of the eThekwini metro police, Sibonelo Mchunu.

Acting head of the eThekwini metro police, Sibonelo Mchunu.

Published Feb 29, 2024


The acting head of the eThekwini metro police, Sibonelo Mchunu, says the approval of the smart policing solution for the unit was “long overdue” and would be a “game-changer” in the fight against crime.

On Tuesday, the City’s executive committee (exco) approved the smart policing solution, which would see the provision of modern technology like body-worn cameras for use by metro police in their duties.

The move has been welcomed by political parties who said it could improve the safety of citizens in areas besieged by criminal activity.

In a brief statement to “The Mercury”, Mchunu said: “This is a great boost for the police. I have been fighting for it since 2020. This will have a great impact in both officer safety, officer efficiency and performance as well as increasing the value of their work in the reduction of crime.”

Key components of the smart policing solution include body-worn cameras, dash cameras in police vehicles, and the integration of closed-circuit television infrastructure with the command centre.

In a statement, the municipality said the utilisation of smart gadgets by officers would ensure accurate issuance of fines and improve transparency, thereby fostering positive community relations.

“This innovative system aims to bolster the efficiency of law enforcement activities and streamline the successful prosecution of offenders in the City.

“This investment underscores the municipality’s commitment to using new modern technologies and methodologies to combat crime, including vandalism and infrastructure theft.

“Through this approach, the municipality aims to enhance policing performance and effectiveness,” said the City.

DA councillor Thabani Mthethwa said the party welcomed the plan.

“The DA is happy with the smart policing item. It is something we have been fighting for over the years. This is a victory for the DA and the people of the city.”

ActionSA councillor Alan Beesley said the party supported any initiative that enhanced policing within the municipality.

However, he hoped that the system to be used would be effective and efficient and was not another waste of the City’s resources.

“An example being many of existing CCTV cameras that are not operational,” he said.

The municipality also announced its plan for a security management learnership programme.

It said this would help to rejuvenate its workforce and ensure a dynamic and motivated team capable of meeting the demands of modern policing.

The City’s security management unit presented a report to exco on Tuesday outlining the implementation of the programme scheduled for this financial year.

“This initiative is an active step towards addressing the need for skilled security personnel while simultaneously creating employment opportunities,” said the City in a statement on the programme.

It said through collaboration with the eThekwini Municipal Academy, the programme would provide industry-approved skills training tailored to attract and retain learners, improving the overall security service provided by the security management unit.

The applicants will undergo a rigorous selection process, including physical and written assessments, with female candidates receiving preference to address gender imbalances within the security sector.

A total of 72 learners will be selected to participate in the 12-month programme, with a dedicated allocation of R1.5 million earmarked to provide stipends for participants.

In the City’s statement, eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said that by investing in the training and development of security personnel, the municipality was seeking to create a safer, secure environment while offering employment opportunities to aspiring security professionals.

The Mercury