China donates drones to Western Cape municipalities

  • Earlier this week drones were handed over to four Western Cape Municipalities.
  • The drones are valued at R18 000 each and were donated by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.
  • The drones will complement and enhance the K-9 and Rural Safety Units in the West Coast, Overberg, and Garden Route regions.

This week Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde and Western Cape Provincial Minister of Community Safety and Police Oversight Reagan Allen handed over drones to four municipalities in the province.

On 20th February, the Premier and the Minister handed over drones to the Cape Winelands, Overberg, Garden Route, and West Coast District Municipalities. Each district received just one drone which are said to be valued at R18 000 each. The drones weren’t purchased by the government but were instead donated by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China.

“We extend our gratitude to our international partner, as it shows their interest in seeking to ensure that greater safety is achieved across the entire province. We have already established our K-9 and Rural Safety Units on the West Coast, Overberg and Garden Route regions, and these drones will also complement and enhance their operations. This is yet another demonstration of the Western Cape Government’s commitment to create safer communities, regardless of where it might be in the province,” commented Allen.

Examining the photos provided with a press release, the drone in question is the DJI Mini 3 Pro. The 48MP camera onboard this drone sports a 1/1.3 inch CMOS sensor and a 82.1 degree field of view. The drone can be fitted with either a 2 453mAh or 3 850mAh battery with a maximum flight time of 34 and 47 minutes for each battery respectively.

These drones are incredibly user-friendly and while DJI does make drones that are better suited for public safety and security, a drone is better than no drone.

“With technology such as drones, our municipalities, in partnership with our government, are sharpening up our collective crime-fighting and disaster capabilities. Technology and innovation must be embraced so that we work faster and smarter for our residents,” Winde said in a statement.

While drones have been on the market for some time already, their use in policing and other public safety areas has been rather limited. While that may be understandable in South Africa, reports suggest that only 20 percent of US state and local law enforcement use drones.


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