Minister Cele unveils new NATJOINTS centre.

Minister Cele unveils new NATJOINTS centre. Image: SAPS

Minister Cele unveils new NATJOINTS centre before elections

Minister Bheki Cele inaugurated the NATJOINTS Centre, enhancing operations before South Africa’s elections.

Minister Cele unveils new NATJOINTS centre.

Minister Cele unveils new NATJOINTS centre. Image: SAPS

Police Minister General Bheki Cele has inaugurated the National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NATJOINTS) Coordination Centre, a strategic move just days before South Africa’s National and Provincial General Elections.

The centre, based at the South African Police Service’s largest training college west of Pretoria, is designed to enhance the country’s security operations.

“The NATJOINTS Coordination Centre (NCC) is born from past experiences learned during the government’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cele stated during the opening ceremony.

“We soon realised the importance of reconfiguring our approach to national security. The NCC underpins a ‘whole of government’ approach.”

New NATJOINTS centre inaugurated ahead of 29 May Elections

The inauguration coincides with the upcoming elections on 29 May, highlighting its timely relevance. However, Cele emphasised that the establishment of this nerve centre has been a long-term goal. The centre will serve as a hub for information coordination and incident reporting, ensuring swift and coordinated responses to any situation within NATJOINTS’ mandate.

The NCC building, recently renovated and repurposed over four months, now meets all necessary operational needs. It will host meetings of the NATJOINTS, the Justice, Crime Prevention, and Security (JCPS) Directors General, as well as various Priority Committees and workstreams.

“The building layout accommodates not only the National Joint Operational Centre but also facilities for one or more Mission Area Joint Operational Centres,” Cele explained.

The centre is equipped with advanced technology and machinery, ensuring seamless collaboration among agencies. It features state-of-the-art data networks, communication systems, and audiovisual capabilities to maintain optimal situational awareness. These are critical for strategic and operational decision-making.

NCC will also be pivotal in planning major national events

The NCC will also be pivotal in planning major national events, including the forthcoming elections and the Presidential inauguration. Once fully operational, it will host representatives from 39 government departments, agencies, state-owned enterprises, and private sector stakeholders.

Post-elections, the NCC will operate 24/7, serving as the primary centre for NATJOINTS inter-departmental and inter-governmental activities. This continuous operation aims to reassure citizens of the government’s commitment to their safety and security.

Dignitaries at the inauguration included Police Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale, National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola. Also, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Defence Minister Thandi Modise, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, and other senior government officials.