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Woman security officers excel at the CCID

Woman security officers excel at the CCID

By SIMANGELE MZIZI
7 October 2019
CCID Safety & Security Assistant Manager: Alec vd Rheede & Public Safety Officer Neliswa Sipika

Women officers working in the CCID’s Safety & Security department bring passion, perseverance and dedication to the job. Inspired by the recent all-female roadblock held by the City’s enforcement services to highlight their contribution, we speak to officers who do the CCID proud.

Twenty-three members of the 300-strong Public Security Officer (PSO) team tasked by the CCID’s Safety & Security department to help keep the CBD safe around the clock are women. Some of them patrol the streets of the City Centre day and night with their male counterparts, while others work at the CCID’s 24-hour control centre.

One of these officers is Neliswa Sipika, who, according to CCID Safety & Security assistant manager Alec van de  Rheede, is one of the hardest working team members.

Says Alec: “Sipika used to work for a security company in Greenmarket Square and approached us frequently about job opportunities at the CCID. She has now been with us for four years. And every time I see her on the street, she’s talking to or assisting someone.”

“Mike One knows me well,” says Neliswa, fondly referring to Alec by his code name.

“I kept approaching the CCID because I wanted to grow and gain more experience. I haven’t been disappointed. I really enjoy everything about my job and the thing I like the most is that our managers care and know us by our names even though there are a lot of us.”

The mother of one from Dutywa in the Eastern Cape concedes that working in the CBD is challenging because “it’s always busy”, but she says nothing gives her greater pleasure than helping members of the public. Being a woman has not prevented her from doing her job, and doing it to the best of her ability. In fact, she encourages other women to get into the security industry. “We are very capable as women and can do any job,” she says.

Pelokazi Mbaxa receiving a medal from Muneeb Hendricks

“THE MAYOR OF GRAND PARADE”

Another woman PSO who is also making her mark is Pelokazi Mbaxa, whom Alec refers to as “The Mayor of Grand Parade”. For five of her eight years at the CCID, Pelokazi has been deployed mostly on the Grand Parade, where she’s been involved in several exceptional arrests and taken part in crime prevention initiatives.

“My work is excellent and Mike One knows there are no complaints here,” says Pelokazi, a proud holder of nine CCID Officer of the Month Awards. She adds that the area is much safer and looks better now following the recent upgrade* at the Grand Parade.

CCID WOMEN BEHIND THE SCENES

CCID Safety & Security prides itself on the quick response members of the public receive when they call our 24-hour control centre or send a WhatsApp message to report safety issues in the CBD. One of the people working behind the scenes is Amanda Dyani. She attends to call centre queries, records all incidents reported and ensures members on the ground are dispatched within minutes. Amanda, who received a 10-year service award last year, started as a foot officer on the street, progressed to a junior controller and is now a senior controller. She says when she started as a foot officer “it was tough but as time went on, I got used to the environment”.

“Nothing is easy in life. It’s about knowing what you want and fulfilling your potential. That is why I believe I have been able to grow at the CCID,” says Amanda.

Traffic Warden: Insaaf Adams

WOMEN TRAFFIC WARDENS

There are also women officers making a great contribution in other areas of CCID Safety & Security: six City of Cape Town traffic wardens, contracted to the CCID, help mitigate traffic congestion in the CBD. Three of the six members of this team are women. The traffic wardens are deployed during the afternoon rush hour to alleviate traffic on Strand Street, at the intersections at Buitengracht and Adderley streets. During off-peak times, the CCID deploys its wardens in other parts of the CBD to enforce non-moving violations such as cars parking on red and yellow lines and blocking loading zones.

The deployment of traffic wardens started in 2017 and Insaaf Adams has been with the team since the beginning. It has not always been plain sailing, but she’s grown a lot in the past two years with the CCID.

“The CBD is full of action as you know. But it helps that we have CCID PSOs to call on for support as well as the City Law Enforcement Officers and managers at the CCID. I really enjoy the work environment I’m in,” she says.

BRINGING PASSION & PERSEVERANCE TO THE JOB

In addition to PSOs and traffic wardens, there are also 20 CCID-funded City Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) who help give the organisation the full reach of the law as they have the power to issue fines for all bylaw contraventions. There are eight women in this team.

Alec says women officers are just as efficient and driven as their male counterparts. “They can handle the tough conditions and most of them have been with us for several years through the cold winters and hot summers. They’re passionate about their jobs and I believe that once passion takes over, everything goes right,” he concludes.

*In August this year, the City of Cape Town announced a more than R5 million upgrade of the Grand Parade kiosks.

IMAGES: Ed Suter, Scott Arendse, CCID Online Coordinator

Tags: CCID CCID Safety & Security Alec van de Rheede women officers