CCTV makes sense

CCTV makes sense as the way forward to reduce crime

CCTV installation by ELFJudging by the small crowd that gathered at St Francis Links last evening for the CCTV meeting, it appears that crime is not on the minds of local St Francis residents as much as one would have expected. The chitter chatter on Crime Alert Whatsapp* group certainly gave the impression that there is real concern so a bigger crowd would have been expected. One must therefore assume that the opportunity of chatting about crime is the real reason some joined the group rather than taking the crime problem seriously.

The company presenting at the meeting had set up a camera to demonstrate how the system worked but Tuesday is a very quiet night at the Links so there was very little foot traffic. However the little there was certainly did demonstrate the effectiveness enough to see the power of these cameras.  The presenter cited an example of the success of CCTV in Sea Point that has resulted in a 65% drop in crime. He also cited golf estates in Gauteng where it has been used very successfully and showed several application in Hangzhou in China where the equipment is made and where there are some 300000 cameras installed. Hangzhou is the venue for the next G20 Summit.

There is no doubt that CCTV can reduce crime but it requires the buy-in of the community.  Already several areas of St Francis and Cape St Francis successfully use CCTV and this scribe has first-hand experience of how effective it can be when at 4:00am one morning a month or so ago the CCTV cameras in Cape St Francis Resort picked up intruders and alerted security. The end result was that security descended on the thieves who were busy helping themselves to the content of my car and although they managed to evade capture, the CCTV footage was used to identify the perpetrators and SAPS were able to arrest them within a few hours.

For CCTV to be really effective it really is all about the numbers, the more cameras the better the coverage, the less opportunity for criminals. Last week we discussed neighbourhood watches and there is no reason why CCTV cannot be deployed by street committees. Why not a system that can detect potential crime activity without having humans driving round in the dead of night, possibly endangering life?  during last night’s presentation it was discussed how even a single street can deploy a CCTV system and monitor it themselves without connecting to a security control room. So advanced is the equipment these days that a smart phone can can be used to monitor activity on a camera, even multiple cameras and act as a streets own “Control Centre”. In fact everyone in the particular street or area can monitor the camera activity and act on suspicious activity.

St Francis Today is going to undertake to meet with John Hammond, the driving force behind the introduction of CCTV, and see if we can expand on the concept in the coming days and relay the information to our readers of how to go about forming these street groups. The more the participation the lower the cost and ELF Rentals, who presented their equipment last night, rents out the equipment by amortising the cost over five years during which time they remain fully responsible for the maintenance of the equipment.

*As a footnote:

Possibly many of those who joined the Whatsapp group Crime Alert will be rethinking their Whatsapp usage if they are on cell phone contracts. In spite of many thinking Whatsapp is free, it is anything but. Those who connect only on Wi-Fi are okay and those who pay as you go will be spared for you would run out of airtime and probably wondered why. But those on cell phone contracts may get a rather big surprise when they see their data charges for the some cell companies charge a whopping R1 per meg for out of bundle data.

Please don’t misinterpret that we are against the Crime Alert initiative for we are not and if it had been used for that purpose it would have been a really effective service. Sadly the chatter made it not only impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff but it also started costing money in bandwidth charges for those not on Wi-Fi because of the excessive data being transmitted

To see just how much data each of your Whatsapp groups use, go and read this article. Seeing that data used on this seemingly ‘free’ application will surprise you.

Science is Cool

Science in Action:

College Parent Tal Leshem a maths and science teacher wowed Grade 1 pupils with purple cabbage juice, bicarb pop ups and easy-to-make ice cream experiments in class. The kids had no idea science could be so COOL!

Science at St Francis College

Science demonstration at St Francis College


Article: Roxanne Litherland
Photographs: Lynn Webb

A Winter Wonderland

A Winter Wonderland

St. Francis College Nursery School pupils broke in their brand new bridge during a fun winter walk day held on their campus last term. Excited kiddies hopped, skipped and jumped their way around a fun obstacle course.

kids on bridge


Article: Roxanne Litherland
Photographs: Jane Lonsdale

Learning Fractions From Pizza

Learning Fractions From Pizza:

St Francis College’s Grade 2 Class spent the morning at the home of their teacher, Caroline Anderson, where they combined the usual schoolwork routine with some hands-on experience making ‘fractions’! The Pizza De La Rossco outing was a clever way to learn all about fractions…while making pizza! Clever Mrs Anderson and a very chuffed class.

Making Pizza

Toasting Marshmallows

Grade 2 Class

Article: Roxanne Litherland
Photographs: Caroline Anderson and Chane De Jager

Thank goodness for Zuma, Malema and Pravin

Thank goodness for Zuma, Malema and Pravin for without them there would be nothing for the daily press to report on. Certainly there are little snippets of stories of relative insignificance from around the country but since the elections and the Olympics interesting news other than the BIG THREE has been hard to come by. We have a magistrate accusing Zimbabweans of only coming to South Africa to steal which is upsetting a few judges.  De Lille is not popular with the ANC in Cape Town for refusing to explain R7-million golden handshakes for two executives and an exonomist predicting five years of doom for South Africa.

Looking at news from our tiny enclave there seems to be even less happening although Nuclear  and Thyspunt are back in the news with deadlines for objections due to close on Monday 29th. The following post of an e-Mail appeared on Facebook on research done by Ilze Salswedel, a well-known investigative journalist. She says “please read and NOTE point no 4 especially, as it concerns the St Francis area”. It is in Afrikaans and a rough translation appears below it but it has been translated (not very well – hey I come from KZN) so excuse any grammatical errors or Afrikaans words that have not been translated.

“Hallo almal

Ek pla julle nie gereeld met hierdie soort van ding nie, maar klik asb op onderstaande skakel en volg die maklike stappe om jou beswaar teen die oprigting van ʼn kernkragaanleg by Thyspunt naby Jeffreysbaai aan die regering voor te le. Ek het al die navorsing hieroor vir OUTA gedoen die afgelope twee maande en dis SCARY stuff hierdie. In kort:

1) Die kontrak met Rusland gaan ons land op die minste R1,2 miljard kos. Dit kom neer op ʼn betaling van R100 miljoen per jaar terugbetalings vir 30 jaar. Ons ekonomie kan dit eenvoudig nie bekostig nie. (Ons kort skole, hospitale, huise, paaie eerder as kernkrag.)

2) Die Russiese kontrak is NOOIT deur die parlement gedebatteer nie. Zuma het dit deurgedruk op die dag wat hy Nhlanhla Nene gefire het en dit vinnig-vinnig deur Des van Rooyen en die kabinet laat goedkeur. Die deal is 2 jaar gelede in die geheim met Rusland se ROSATOM gesluit.

3) Daar is tans ʼn hofsaak in die Kaapse Hooggeregshof wat die geldigheid van die kontrak betwis juis omdat dit nie die vereiste parlementere goedkeuring of openbare deelname gekry het nie. Dit sloer al ʼn jaar, en die regering vertraag dit met opset.

4) NOU het Eskom skelm-skelm ʼn kennisgewing in die staatskoerant van die Oos-Kaap (let wel, ook nie nasionaal nie) geplaas om goedkeuring te kry vir die terreinontwikkeling by Thyspunt naby Jeffreysbaai, reg langs ʼn fynbosreservaat. Daar gaan ook uitgebrei word by Koeberg. As die publiek nie beswaar maak nie, gaan dit deurgedruk word tsv die feit dat die kontrak se geldigheid tans nog ondersoek word.

5) Kennisgewings oor tenders vir konstruksie is al ʼn maand gelede ook suutjies uitgestuur.

6) Daar is NET 6 dae vir die publiek om kommentaar te lewer (Eskom het sommer ook die verpligte 30 dae kommentaartyd na 21 dae verminder).

7) OUTA het niks teen kernkrag nie, maar dit is te duur vir SA en heeltemal onnodig. Dit gaan te min energie te laat verskaf. Ons het dit nou nodig, en kan dit op goedkoper maniere kry (bv as hulle ophou geld steel by Eskom en as hulle soos die res van die wêreld belê in renewables). Eskom en die regering kanselleer ook kontrakte met internasionale voorsieners rondom “renewables” soos sonkrag en windkrag. Upington sit bv met reuse sonkragplase wat deur die Spanjaarde gebou is, maar Eskom weier om dit aan die grid te koppel.

Dis maklik om kommentaar te lewer. En jou kommentaar GAAN ʼn verskil maak, want dan moet die hele proses van vooraf begin.

Maak oop op die skakel, en copy sommer OUTA se wetlike (gecheck deur ons advokate) se besware in jou eie blokkie in. Dit deal met al die tegniese goete waaraan Eskom nie voldoen met die kennisgewings nie, asook met die feit dat ons as belastingbetalers nie gekonsulteer is nie. Of sit jou eie kommentaar in.

Hier is die skakel:

Kom ons keer hierdie korrupte spul! Deel asb ook hierdie e-pos met jou pelle.


Rought translated

“Hello everyone

I don’t often bother you with this kind of thing, but please click on link below and follow the easy steps to make your objection against the construction of ʼn Nuclear Power facility at Thyspunt near Jeffreys. I did all the research for Outa done iover the past two months and it’s scary stuff this. In Short:

1) The contract with Russia is going to cost at least R1, 2 Million. This means a re- payment of R100 million year for 30 years an amount our economy cannot afford. (We need schools, hospitals, houses, roads rather than nuclear power.)

2) The Russian contract was never debated in Parliament and Zuma pushed it through on the day he fired Nhlanhla Nene and fast tracked Des van Rooyen and the cabinet to approve the deal. The deal with the Russians was done in secret two years ago.

3 There is currently ʼn court case in the Cape in the supreme court disputing the validity of the contract because neither Parliamentary approval or public participation has been done. It has been dragging on for a year with the government deliberately delaying it.

4 Eskom published  (skelm- skelm – or Sly – Afrikaans can be so expressive so we will stick with skelm) notice in the Government gazette of the Eastern Cape (note, not national) placed in order to get approval for the site development  at thyspunt , right next to a fynbos reserve. There is also going to be an expansion to Koeberg.  If the public does not make any objection,  it is going to go ahead in spite of the contracts validity still being investigated.

5 Notifications over tenders for construction were secretly sent out a month ago.

6) THERE are only three days for the public to comment   (Eskom has summer also verpligte kommentaartyd 30 days after 21 days by).

7 Outa has nothing against nuclear power, but it is too expensive for SA and not totally needed. It is going to be out of energy too late. We have it now, and can get on goedkoper ways (eg if they stop stealing money at Eskom and if they like the rest of the world invest in renewables). Eskom and government also cancel kontrakte international voorsieners around renewables Like a solar power and windkrag.  Upington sitting g with giant sonkragplase by spanjaarde built but eskom refuses to do it on the grid link too.

It’s easy to comment and your comment can make difference

Here is the link:…/comment-eskoms-nuclear-license-app…/

Let’s reverse this corrup ion! Also please share this email with friends.