Affordable security for vulnerable communities

May 2019 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

MeMeZa Community Safety (MeMeZa), a non-profit organisation that provides an inexpensive security system geared for those that live in disadvantaged communities, has recently embarked on a project to manufacture their products in-house. This is possible due to the support of Hewlett Packard Enterprise South Africa (HPE SA) which will enable MeMeZa to reduce costs and create additional employment opportunities.

Thuli Mthethwa
Thuli Mthethwa

Crime touches the lives of every South African, but particularly those who live in disadvantaged communities and cannot afford expensive security systems and panic buttons. MeMeZa was born of founder Thuli Mthethwa’s vision and will to change that, by providing affordable security technology to those who need it most.

The organisation delivers innovative security technology, including connected alarm systems. The Community Safety Alarm is an intelligent pre-paid GSM alarm system that communicates via SMS with neighbours, family, street patrollers and Community Policing Forums, alerting them to events and helping communities work together to fight crime. The alarm is also linked directly to the South African Police Services (SAPS) so that law enforcement can be alerted immediately.

Sherifa Hady
Sherifa Hady

“Although there are a number of socio-economic issues facing South Africa, crime and unemployment affect us all, and often go hand-in hand. MeMeZa is helping to reduce both of these problems. Importantly, a black female-owned enterprise is highlighting how women can play an active role in the transformation of South Africa. We are proud to support such a worthy initiative through active involvement which is making a real difference to the organisation,” says Sherifa Hady, MD of HPE SA.

HPE SA has been involved with MeMeZa since 2016, providing support through youth and skills development where 15 young individuals gained essential work experience. They were tasked with helping MeMeZa to manage their database, install their community alarm system in Mooi Nooi and Hebron in the North West, and conduct marketing. This created sustainable employment opportunities for 12 of the interns who are currently employed full time by MeMeZa.

Following the projects in Mooi Nooi and Hebron, hundreds of vulnerable households as well as numerous ‘no fee’ schools have been secured. In addition, several jobs have been created and the success of these initiatives is evident in the vastly improved police response times. In Hebron, the average SAPS response time has reduced from almost 40 minutes to just 14 minutes.

“Our next challenge was the manufacture of our alarm devices. We were struggling with outsourcing production; the quality was poor, and the pricing was high. In 2018, through the support of HPE SA, additional opportunities were created, allowing us to expand our operation with local manufacturing. This is enabling us to currently produce between 10 and 20 units per day. Our goal for 2019 is to scale the factory and launch our product nationally,” says Thuli Mthethwa, founder of MeMeZa Community Safety.

“HPE’s involvement has been pivotal for us. Through the internship program our backend systems were properly implemented, and we have been able to gather excellent statistics on the effectiveness of our products. Team work makes the dream work and together with HPE SA, we have been able to advance the way people live and work,” she concludes.

For more information, contact HPE SA, Jacqueline Teixeira, [email protected]

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