The first phase of a project that will see a network of security cameras watching over the Montague Gardens and Marconi Beam industrial area was launched last week.
The R2.1 million plan, spearheaded by the Montague Gardens-Marconi Beam Improvement District (MMID), a non-profit company that provides top-up municipal services in the area, has been three years in the making.
Those involved met at the MMID office in Platinum Close, Milnerton, on Friday September 11 for the “switch on”.
Tony Pronk, the MMID’s head of security, said the launch would have happened in May had it not been for Covid-19.
Ten cameras have been installed at five sites in the first phase of the project.
The cameras will be monitored from the MMID’s head-office control room, but the “main monitoring” will be done by a security company, Astrosec Off Site Event Monitoring, in Blackheath.
Static cameras and pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) cameras were among those that had already been installed, Mr Pronk said.
The MMID plans to install about 40 more cameras in phases two and three in the next two months. The MMID plans to install around 50 cameras in total.
Licence-plate recognition (LPR) cameras were being looked at for the future as was a thermal camera on the N7 to cover the entrance into Montague Gardens at night, Mr Pronk said.
“Everybody thinks CCTV is all about crime and catching criminals, but we want to use it in a more creative way to keep an eye on our area.”
The cameras would also be able to spot illegal dumping and traffic violations at intersections, he said.
Mr Pronk dedicated the launch to Ignatius van Rooyen who was shot and killed in Freedom Way, Montague Gardens, in June last year (“Slain patroller honoured,” Tabletalk, June 26, 2019).
Mr Pronk said to his knowledge no one had ever been arrested for Mr Van Rooyen’s murder.
Mr Van Rooyen was a member of the Milnerton Ridge Neighbourhood Watch and also patrolled for the MMID.
“I would have loved for him to be here today, but he paid with his life,” Mr Pronk said, adding that the CCTV cameras would help to catch the perpetrators of similar crimes in the future.
The MMID was established after a businessman was killed in an armed robbery in Montague Gardens in 2013. The uproar led to the establishment of an unofficial business forum.
“They went the special rating area (SRA) route and that is how the MMID came into effect,” he said.
An SRA is a defined geographic area within which property owners agree to pay extra for more municipal services, such as cleansing and security.
“If you have a safer industrial area, you draw people to it,” Mr Pronk said.
You can report illegal dumping or criminal activities to the MMID hotline at 021 200 5975. Email email@example.com for more information about the MMID.