Residents of the Bo-Kaap gathered at St Paul’s Hall last Friday to raise funds to assist the private security company that they hired.
The Atlantic Sun reported on the need for community protection last year (“Bo-Kaap residents reach out to private security”, October 20, 2022).
The initiative is led by Megan Kassiem. “The security team and residents of Bo-Kaap came together to sell a variety of goods. We had savouries, curry and rice or roti and there was an organisation selling second-hand clothing. At the end of the night we had raised R8 100,” said Ms Kassiem.
Cerberus Tactical Security is the security company that patrols the streets, and the monthly fee is R395 a family (R200 for retirees) and R1 000 for businesses. Ms Kassiem said the funds raised is for the security and there will be another fund-raiser in July.
“There are people that are not able to pay the full amount, the fund-raiser will cover the shortfall. We give discounted rates to pensioners and there are some people who pay less than half. But we want everyone to be included and that’s the reason we do fund-raisers, to include everyone and to create awareness,” she said.
There are 130 households, including business, that have registered with the security initiative, which covers Chiappini, Shortmarket, Church and Bantam streets, as well as Buitengracht Street, among others.
CTS owner Cameron Aberdeen says that they’ve noticed there’s more opportunistic crimes in the area.
“Theft of goods from residents and tourists and theft from motor vehicles, these crimes can often be prevented with making an effort to be more alert of your surroundings and increased efforts to communicate within the community. CTS works closely with the members of the community who have come on board with the security initiative to respond quickly and effectively to any concerns or incidents in the area,” Mr Aberdeen says.
He advises residents to be aware of spikes in crime during load shedding as well busy periods like first Thursdays.
“Members of the community have welcomed our presence and assistance, others are coming on board based on the results we have had so far. During busy times like first Thursdays we implement more patrols,” he said.
Marianne Brummer has been living in the Bo-Kaap for seven years and says that there are less incidences of crime with CTS being proactive.
“We live close to Buitengracht Street and there are multiple issues happening in our area but I must say they (security officers) are visible and deter the potential criminals. Their response time is also quick so that helps,” said Ms Brummer.
According to Ward 77 councillor Francine Higham, the City is deploying more law enforcement officers to assist SAPS in combating crime.
“Of course, tackling crime requires a community effort, and so it is not uncommon for residents to work together as part of a Neighbourhood Watch or similar community safety initiatives to support safety and security services in their work to fight crime. Many of these initiatives rely on the residents volunteering a great deal of their time, and we are grateful to them for that,” said Ms Higham.
“Private Security companies can also be involved in these initiatives where they have many clients in a particular area, and you can find similar examples of partnerships across Ward 77,” she said.