Image – Clive Wright


St Francis Today sat with David Harpur from the SANTAREME PHASE ONE ACTION GROUP and chatted about their proposal and plan to help improve the security arrangements in the Santareme Phase One area. For those in Santreme and further, it is an exciting and insightful read.


SFT: The initial plan is along the lines of poles and cameras and a dedicated security vehicle.

DH: Correct. The dedicated security vehicle would patrol the area from 6pm to 6am.


How has the initial response been?

We have had a positive response from about 40% of the property owners so far, with very few negative replies.


Do you have any concerns with the project thus far?

We don’t want this initiative to lose momentum, so we need to get many more residents to support our plan.


Do you think the cost might be putting people off giving a positive response?

Yes, in some instances, but the more support we get, the more affordable the scheme is.


I have heard some saying the plan is no good as you can only see the camera footage in Port Elizabeth.

That’s just not true. Footage can be viewed in St Francis, but to do so, one needs to get a police case number for the crime to access the coverage. This is in place to not expose oneself to the broad ramifications of the POPI Act. (The Protection of Private Information Act.) This act is wide-ranging, and the penalties for its breach are very onerous. The footage, however, can be viewed by the security company accredited officials.


What were your main objectives in proposing this scheme for the demarcated area of Santareme?

We got together and asked ourselves how we could help improve crime prevention and improve the prosecution of offenders. This is just one way that has proved successful in many other towns and villages. It will simply make the area less of a target as the evidence grows of its effectiveness. Also, we have an excellent example of the village and canal areas where the cameras have been a success.


Do you think this system will help protect homeowners from theft attempts?

It will remain the responsibility of all homeowners to protect their own property by every means possible. Methods include alarms, lights, beams, cameras, burglar bars, fences and gates. We cannot assume the task of each property owner to protect their property. Still, we can assist in covering roads and public areas to identify possible criminals in the area and alert security companies to take the necessary preventative action. Also, it will give us footage to follow up to identify potential criminals for further prosecution.


Ok, that’s good and positive. Can people reach out if they have any questions or are unsure about something?

Yes, of course. Any questions regarding the SANTAREME PHASE ONE ACTION GROUP can come directly to me at