Siyabonga Africa

Siyabonga Africa

Johannesburg City Parks and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) launched their park safety unit at the Florida Lake yesterday.

City Parks managing director Luther Williamson said the programme would see more than 30 park rangers deployed to the city's open spaces.

Williamson pointed out that Johannesburg had 2300 open spaces, including parks and cemeteries, that needed to be monitored.

"The programme is aimed at establishing a nerve centre, with CCTV cameras, that will monitor the open spaces. A volunteer programme will also be launched to include members of the public," Williamson said.

Also in attendance was Gauteng MEC for community safety and security Firoz Cachalia. To illustrate the need for such programmes he told about an incident in which he and his wife were mugged at Emmarentia Dam early last year.

"Out of adversity, through creativity ... we have the power to change things for the better," Cachalia said.

In between speeches the audience was treated to the sounds of the JMPD Choir and the military precision of the JMPD and SAPS drill group. Williamson explained that the singing and parade symbolised the SAPS and JMPD partnership in the initiative.