Residents of the Metro were heartened yesterday by a parade of power that proved collaboration between the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, law enforcement agencies, the MBDA and the Community Policing Boards and private sector security.
The impressive parade – which marched its way through the streets of Central – and subsequent launch event at Vuyisile Mini Square, in front of City Hall, marked the launch of the Municipality’s plan to enhance security across the Metro. On show at the square were a robust Municipal and SAPS security vehicles as well as a strong force of 62 additional foot officers, several vehicle patrol units as well as a specially trained canine unit have been deployed crack down on crime. The foot officers and canine unit were a contribution of the MBDA to the security plan.
Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan told VIP guests and gathered citizens that the Metro was not just talking tough but was clamping down on crime completely in a determined drive to create a safer city for all residents, property owners, tourists and businesses.
“This our city. This is the city honoured with the name of our country’s beloved Nelson Mandela. We are here today to warn criminals that we are not going to allow them to ruin it. We are taking our city back–not with bark but with bite!
“No longer will we tolerate criminals, gangsters, drug dealers and non compliance with By Laws. The Metro is working closely with the police, strengthening video surveillance in hotspot areas and bolstering peace-keeping with the introduction of the MBDA‘s Security Programme forces. We are determined to make this city a great place to live and work in and visit,” he said.
In a serious display of strength, the 130-strong procession set off from the Donkin Reserve and wound its way up to Rink Street before moving down Western Road to meet the Mayor and VIP guests gathered at City Hall.
Together, the South African Police Service (SAPS) brigade, squad of 62 Metro Security guards, Metro Security K9 Unit retrofitted reaction vehicles, Take Back Nelson Mandela Bay officials, as well as MBDA personnel and traffic officers, showed that they are indeed a force to be reckoned with.
In all, the plan, which is part of the Take Back the Metro initiative which was launched by the Executive Mayor in August 2015, includes the consolidation and integration of security resources and assets between SAPS, the Police Boards, NGOs, the Municipality, and the MBDA for a comprehensive and sustained plan across the Metro.
MBDA Chief Executive Dr Pierre Voges said this cooperative spirit between private sector security and official authorities was reflective of a global trend that sought to combat the growing challenges of criminal activity everywhere.
“The clean-up is a priority that will also support greater investment flows into the CBD and inner city. Safe, clean areas will also boost our important tourism industries – so vital for job creation and sustained economic growth in the region. Property owners will benefit from higher values for their real estate assets in the long-term, the safety of 13 000 people and 6 000 households in the CBD will be improved, and businesses can look forward to better security.”
Voges said it was vital to understand the impact of safety and security as a critical enabler for investment in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Voges said an exciting component of the MBDA security programme was the inclusion of a K9 unit. The unit is made up of eight dogs, each paired with skilled rangers that have undergone SETA- and SAQA-accredited training in Malmesbury, in the Western Cape.
“A ranger and his dog can work together to bring down two or more criminals. A dog can keep one criminal at bay while the ranger arrests and handcuffs his accomplice. The dogs will also be able to detect narcotics and to track criminals.