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The first batch of 150 cellphones impounded from motorists in terms of the Traffic By-law were donated to neighbourhood watch members today, 2 August 2016. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate today donated 150 cellphones to members of neighbourhood watch organisations from across the metropole.

The cellphones had been impounded from motorists in terms of Section 38 of the Traffic By-law, which prohibits the use of a communication device while driving. As the devices were never collected by the owners, they became City property in terms of the Impoundment Policy which means they can be disposed of in a manner deemed fit by the Directorate.

‘We have impounded thousands of phones since this section of the By-law came into effect in 2012. What we didn’t realise at the time was how much red tape we would have to cut through to clear personal data from phones that were never claimed. We initially planned to auction the devices, but then last year we had a brainwave to donate the phones to non-governmental and community organisations instead who could put them to good use,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.The following 30 neighbourhood watch (NW) organisations will receive the first batch of cellphones:

Bellville South NW, Westgate NW/Westgate Watch, Highlands NW, Parow Valley NW, Wetton NW, Echo Voorbrug NW, Oakdale NW, Gugulethu NW, Malibu Village NW, Brooklyn Ysterplaat NW, Soneike NW, Langverwacht/Amandel surrounds NW, Kuils River NW, Dennemere NW, Tygerhof NW, Sanddrift NW, Glenhaven NW, Beverley Park NW/Greater Blue Downs, Vredelust NW, Mabille Park NW, K9 NW, Delft South NW, Sector 2 Bellville South NW, Sector 3 Bellville South NW, Roosendal Unity NW, Lanroe NW, Marina Crime Watch, Kuils River Watch, The Hague Delft NW.

‘These devices are meant to help keep watch members in contact with each other, but also law enforcement agencies. The City has worked closely with neighbourhood watch organisations for the last eight years by helping to set them up and providing training and equipment. These phones aren’t necessarily the latest technology, but they’re more than capable of fulfilling a crucial function like making a call, sending a text or instant message, or even a ‘please call me’ in a moment of need,’ added Alderman Smith.

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