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Additional CCTV cameras ahead of festive season
The City is ready to welcome thousands of holidaymakers expected to flock to Durban over the festive season. And to further ensure their safety, closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras along the beachfront and inner city are operating at 96 percent.

Some of the new cameras installed in these areas have licence and facial recognition and are operational from the control centre. They also boast additional analytics such as crowd detection. This comes as eThekwini Mayor Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda recently launched the beachfront extension promenade which spans 750 meters long and 30 meters wide making it altogether the longest in Sub Saharan Africa.

The update on CCTV cameras was revealed during a Finance, Security and Emergency Services Committee meeting held on 21 November at the Durban City Hall. Mayor Kaunda said the safety of both residents and visitors to the City is a top priority for eThekwini Municipality. “As the City we have developed a festive season safety plan to ensure that residents and visitors are safe during the festive season and beyond.

One of the issues we have prioritised as the Municipality is to increase police visibility and the installation of CCTV cameras in tourists attraction areas so that we are able to identify wanted suspects and people who plan and commit crime in these areas. ”EThekwini Deputy Mayor Councillor Belinda Scott said it was good news that the City was “getting on top of the CCTV cameras issue”.

Presenting the report on the CCTV cameras at the committee meeting, Yarish Brijmohan from the City’s Disaster Management and Emergency Control Unit said there was new camera technology utilised in the CCTV cameras.“ Because of the new software installed we are able to integrate all cameras installed in the City, including those installed in buildings, on a centralised platform.

The new cameras have licence and facial recognition and are operational from the control centre.”He said there was also additional analytics such as crowd detection.“The control room gets an automatic notification when there is a build-up of a crowd.

We are also able to search for a particular person who may for example be wearing a red shirt or a vehicle according to a specific colour.”Brijmohan said 52 percent of the City’s 432 CCTV cameras are currently operational. The others are not working largely due to fibre optic faults with 10 percent attributed to electricity faults and 10 percent being equipment faults. However, plans are in place to address these challenges.

The report stated that fibre related faults for cameras will be attended to with the awarding of a fibre contract for the City. Analog cameras will also be converted to IP according to the 2019/20 project plan, the report stated. “The contract for the fibre optic cable has been awarded and they will repair these faults at a rate of 30 percent a month by numerous contractors. We expect 350 cameras to be running by the end of December,” Brijmohan said.

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