Recent community unrest illustrates SA state’s challenges


The events that took place in South Africa over July this year highlighted the inability of organs of state to act proactively and decisively to protect property and the citizens of South Africa.

This is according to Cobus Valentine, Chief Commercial Officer & Head of Product Management at Global Command & Control Technologies (GC²T), a South African owned company providing turn-key enabled awareness solutions to defence, security and related technology customers.

GC²T were a keynote sponsor at this year’s hybrid Sovereign Security Conference which took place earlier this month in Pretoria.

Valentine spoke about the need for enabled awareness and decision augmentation as a pre-emptive strategy to effective public policing.  The aftermath of the community unrest resulted in the various departments in the Security Cluster pointing fingers at each other for the failure of the existing intelligence structures to provide prior warning and in time intelligence during the first days of the events. “They were poorly prepared for the orchestrated campaign of public violence, destruction, and sabotage highlighting the absence of well-formulated plans and contingencies,” he said.

Valentine explained that to address the inability of the Security Cluster to act pre-emptively and well in advance of any unrest, rioting and looting, the various stakeholders should conduct an in-depth after-action review and come up with a revised strategy for effective public policing.

“The inability of the South African Intelligence community to provide actionable intelligence for decision-makers to act upon has now necessitated a re-look at Integrated Inter-Departmental coordination and exchange (sharing) of information and intelligence,” he said.

Valentine believes that to address the shortcomings that were prevalent during the campaign of public violence, destruction, and sabotage, all stakeholders will have to give pertinent attention to expand and solidify their current capabilities through the implementation and utilisation of enabled awareness and decision augmentation.

GC²T ’s solutions create an accurate and timely operational picture through the fusion and exchange of sensor data and information to support the decision-making process in an integrated and interactive manner. GC²T ’s Command & Control Systems can significantly increase operational flexibility and reduce time while supporting critical decision making in high tempo situations, the company said.

The theme of this year’s Sovereign Security conference was centred around “A focus on terrorism within our territory”, and was attended by security experts, solution providers, industry peers, decision-makers, technology experts and business leaders from across the Sovereign Security industry.