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Pretoria’s vibrant city centre being kept safe

26 May 2016

Tshwane’s vibrant city centre is not only changing with the times and becoming a vibrant hub of activity, it will now also be in safe hands after City Property’s initiative to deploy security officers in the inner city.

Tshwane’s vibrant city centre is not only changing with the times and becoming a vibrant hub of activity, it will now also be in safe hands after City Property’s initiative to deploy security officers in the inner city.

In collaboration with JC Security and under the auspices of the various Tshwane Central Improvement Districts (CIDs), City Property has taken the step of training and investing in a number of inner-city security guards to ensure the urban revival project moves forward without any setbacks.

City Property managing director, Jeffrey Wapnick, says with a firm focus on job creation, they embarked on the project late last year, investing a substantial sum to ensure the inner city environment changes for the better, and is a safe, vibrant area where businesses can grow.

Wapnick says they have already invested millions in renovating buildings it manages in the city centre and has revitalised entities like the vibrant multi-use venue, 012central, and others in the creative precinct.  

“And now the next step is to welcome back businesses to the inner city, with security being a prime aspect in this regard,” he says.

“City Property and JC Security sourced the guards from a shelter in Soshanguve, working alongside NGO’s to identify worthy candidates to train and employ in the inner city, spurning the normal recruiting process for something a lot more special.”

In employing them, Wapnick says JC Security also helped some candidates open their first bank accounts, get birth certificates and other documentation to ensure they comply fully with legislation as well.

“Every one of the guards selected not only has a passion to make the inner city better, but sees this as an empowerment tool to build a better life for themselves while making a difference in the lives of others,” says Mapanya.

These candidates were then put through a training process, using accredited Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) standards to qualify as Grade C security officers. While they received security training, the guards were also given first-aid training to equip them for any situation that may unfold.

“Their initial deployment has been a massive success, with the guards not only helping track down criminals, prevent crime and return stolen goods to victims, but also assisting in helping those in need of medical assistance, while displaying a friendly face for tourists in the central hub,” says Wapnick.

Each security guard also pledges an oath to make the city centre better, and works hand-in-hand with the authorities to not only to react to crime, but prevent it from happening in the first place.

“It has always been our goal to bring people back to the inner city,” says Wapnick.

“We are passionate about Tshwane, and we want to reignite the vibrance that the capital should be about. One of the important aspects of this is not only ensuring people feel safe in the inner city, but also that they see a friendly face who can help pointing them in the right direction.”

He says they are confident that these guards will become known throughout the inner city as a positive part of the revival project.

According to Mary Mapanya of JC Security, they were surprised by the eagerness of the candidates involved.

“Every one of the guards selected not only has a passion to make the inner city better, but sees this as an empowerment tool to build a better life for themselves while making a difference in the lives of others,” says Mapanya.

“We are excited at the positive role they are playing, and it is satisfying to see them enjoying their work at the same time.”

“We will continue to monitor and expand the project if necessary, but believe that along with our properties and inner city renewal project, Tshwane will not only recapture its vibrance going forward, but also turn into a model that other cities in South Africa will strive to emulate,” says Wapnick.

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