Big Brother given a voice in Pietermaritzburg
Thinking of having a wee when no one is looking in the Pietermartizburg city centre? Watch out - the city's CCTV system will soon have speakers and you could find yourself being given a tongue lashing.
The same goes if you litter or are drunk. On the positive side if you are about to be robbed Big Brother will shout out to warn you or, if you are careless, he will tell you to close your bag and wake-up.
Speakers are being added to the existing CCTV that monitors crime in the CBD and will be put on trial to see how the public respond.
The initiative is being driven by Safe City, an organisation set up to fight crime. Lucas Holtzhausen, Safe City general manager, said it was frustrating for CCTV monitors to see things happen and not be able to do anything. "Police have a lot of cases to deal with and we can't expect them to get to a crime scene in the CBD straight away... at least now we will be able to warn people if we think they are being targeted."
Holtzhausen said the intention was to have speakers at six hot spots, including ATMs and where bagsnatching was common.