The festival, which takes place until 31 October, sees the Sandton Central Business District closed to motorists, with preference given to public transport users, cyclists and pedestrians.
Despite the excitement around the festival, questions were raised on how the closure of certain roads will affect the ability to report and respond to crime within the inner city.
Lisa Seftel, executive director of transport for the City of Johannesburg, explained that there was a plan to deal with security matters for the duration of the festival.
“We have such a plan in place, with an extra 90 Metro police officers set to be available, in addition to the normal amount deployed to the inner city,” Seftel explained.
She added that police officers would continue to operate as normal and would continue to have access to the CBD, should it be necessary.
Furthermore, Seftel added that CCTV cameras would be installed on cycle lanes to improve security, and better street lighting will ensure safety is maintained during the festival.
Adding to this was Edna Mamonyane, spokesperson for Metro police, who explained that additional officers had been supplied for the festival, but this would not affect other areas.
“Every area around Johannesburg where officers are deployed will contribute members to the festival, but this will be done in such a way that service delivery in those areas remains unaffected,” she explained.
She also confirmed that the officers on duty would carry out their normal duties and would deal with any crime incidents.
Seftel concluded by stressing that safety within the city would essentially be enhanced by road safety education and awareness.
“However, the most important form of security is security in numbers; the more eyes on the street, the better,” she said.
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