Derek Bock, Chief Operating Officer of the Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District (VRCID), was invited by the Secretary-General of the Safer Sweden organisation to attend a conference in Stockholm and speak on the City Improvement District model and the relationship with the authorities in terms of public safety.
Themed ‘Place Making and City Improvement Districts’, the conference was attended by 150 delegates and covered a variety of topics including Public Safety, Urban Management and Social Upliftment – which are services that fall within the VRCID mandate.
“What was very clear to me is that the authorities should be encouraged to form public – private partnerships and support the work being done by the CIDs. Senior Managers operating in Sweden’s cities are either fully qualified architects, social workers, criminologists, urban designers or retired senior police officers, and are in charge of public safety, social upliftment and urban management. Due to their qualifications, they have a good understanding of the challenges faced at an operational level,” commented Bock.
Following the conference Bock visited the Securitas Head Office in Malmo, Sweden, and met with senior management staff to convey the work being done by the VRCID in partnership with Securitas South Africa.
“I was very impressed with the training and services offered by Securitas to their clients in Sweden. Their security officers are well trained and are proud of the job they perform. Furthermore, I would like to explore the fact that they use private security officers, which are trained by their Traffic Department, to be employed as Traffic Wardens. These Wardens can only issue tickets to non-moving violations, but this will greatly assist us with traffic related violations in Bellville and Parow.”
Hardus Zevenster, Chairman of the VRCID Board of Directors, added: “Through implementation of best safety practices by the VRCID, Bellville and Parow are now on the international map with the potential to attract international and local developers and investors. As a Board we fully support Derek and his team for their outstanding work – what this small team has achieved in the past six years is remarkable. We acknowledge that we must not rest on our laurels and there is still a lot to be done. We welcome support from the City of Cape Town in promoting investment into the area, Bellville is not the so-called second CBD of Cape Town for nothing after all.”
Cape Town Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, concluded by saying: “I will be inviting Mr Bock to a meeting where he can share with us what he saw at the conference. We welcome active civic organisations and the Voortrekker CID is a valuable partner in our efforts to uplift the CBDs of Parow and Bellville.”