Soweto’s most famous road, Vilakazi Street, has received a high-tech upgrade to help curb crime and make the area safer for the masses of tourists that visit it each day.
According to Mayor Herman Mashaba, the street’s 25 new high-definition CCTV cameras will also give residents and business owners peace of mind.
The cameras feed live footage to the city’s Department of Public Safety via fibre optic cables, and are able to zoom in 150 metres.
Plans for the upgrade had been in the pipeline for a while, but the murder of local restaurant manager Khwesi Hudson earlier this year during a robbery at Sakhumzi restaurant moved Mashaba to act.
“The untimely death of Mr Khwesi Hudson spoke to the state of lawlessness that was allowed to become the order of the day in our City,” says the Mayor. “It was his passing that prompted me to take action.”
Vilakazi Street is known worldwide as the former home of both President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
The street will now be monitored around the clock for any illegal activity, and Mashaba hopes that the cameras’ presence will enhance the bustling street even further.
“Tourism is one of the drivers that are contributing to the City’s goal of achieving 5% economic growth by 2021,” he adds. “It is also one of the country’s most profitable industry sectors, and I would like to reassure business owners, residents and tourists that Vilakazi Street, and Johannesburg as a whole, remains open for business.”