MTN SA, community police forums partner to tackle theft and vandalism

Image of MTN South Africa CEO Charles Molapisi


5th February 2024

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


Font size: - +

Telecommunications giant MTN has partnered with the Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board to support community policing forums (CPFs) as the company accelerates its fight against ongoing vandalism and theft of batteries and cables at cellphone towers across South Africa.

The partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board will see technology harnessed to prevent and reduce incidents, protect network tower infrastructure and minimise network downtime and its impact on the connectivity experience of subscribers, and to ultimately ensure that communities are safer, said MTN South Africa CEO Charles Molapisi.

A pilot phase of the partnership is currently being rolled out in Soweto, and a command centre has been set up with laptops, printers and other equipment to gather data, with technology, such as closed-circuit television and WiFi points, to be harnessed to detect criminal activity and alert responders.

CPF members will receive new uniforms and equipment, including panic buttons and handcuffs, to ensure they are armed for any eventuality.

Boarder benefits are planned for the second phase of the initiative.

“Our aim is, in time, to empower CPFs across South Africa to protect network sites in their respective communities. Nothing is more important in South Africa today than the fight against the crime that is impacting our country,” said Molapisi.

“Persistent loadshedding in recent months has resulted in a significant increase in theft of network assets and vandalism of our tower infrastructure. These criminal activities come at a high cost to the company and they also prevent communities from accessing the network and staying in touch and connected to work, the emergency services and to each other.”

He explained that it is an opportune time to identify opportunities from this crisis and partner with local communities and CPFs to leverage their competencies and abilities to combat criminal and infrastructure damage.

“Communities must own the technology infrastructure and defend it by using intelligence and the crime prevention measures of the South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies. Fighting criminal tendencies and infrastructure damage needs a multi-integrated approach.”

CPFs, through force multiplier community patrollers intelligence from the community crime intelligence network, have a chance to make difference and win the war against crime, added Gauteng Provincial Community Police Board executive chairperson TJ Masilela.

“Together we can ensure criminals are brought to book, syndicates dismantled and ultimately the people of South Africa can enjoy the full benefits of a modern connected life,” Molapisi concluded.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter





Rentech provides renewable energy products and services to the local and selected African markets. Supplying inverters, lithium and lead-acid...


Leading condition monitoring specialists, WearCheck, help boost machinery lifespan and reduce catastrophic component failure through the scientific...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 12 April 2024
Magazine round up | 12 April 2024
12th April 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.268 0.338s - 141pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now