MyBroadBand - Safe City


Vumacam invests R60 million to expand security camera network — including Alexandra and Soweto
Ricky Croock, Vumacam’s CEO, spoke to MyBroadband on the R60 million-rand investment into the smart camera network rollout into underserved areas. The investment will see unprotected areas’ security enhanced with the cameras as well as installing along arterial routes and greenspaces.
Vumacam will invest R60 million to roll out and maintain 1,850 security cameras across Johannesburg as part of the SafeCity initiative.
The roll-out includes 350 cameras in underserved areas such as Alexandra, Soweto, and Diepsloot.
These new CCTV cameras will also cover strategic, critical public infrastructure and areas that have been recently targeted by criminals, such as the Braamfontein Spruit.
Vumacam said the Spruit area would be protected in collaboration with City Parks.
Vumacam also announced support for the Eyes and Ears Initiative (E2) — a coordinated joint crime-fighting initiative between the South African Police Service, Business Against Crime South Africa, and the private security industry.
With these initiatives, Vumacam promised its security partners greater city-wide access to camera networks outside their standard operation areas.
The company said this is a critical requirement where investigations or urgent responses are required.
Vumacam’s systems use automatic licence plate recognition and machine learning algorithms that help detect criminal activity.
It forms the backbone of the monitoring component of the initiatives, while key private security companies and SAPS can respond, investigate, and analyse footage where criminal events have taken place.

Vumacam’s existing network

Vumacam’s planned SafeCity network

Cele announced earlier this month that statistics for Q4 2021 and Q1 2022 show significant increases in murder (up 22.2%), sexual offences (13.7%), cash in transit heists (up 26.2%), and kidnappings (up 109.2%).

Croock told MyBroadband that the security industry had universally welcomed Vumacam’s support for the SafeCity and E2 initiatives.

He said it was unfair that only certain neighbourhoods have access to these cameras and that the investment allows them to go into underprotected areas that can’t necessarily afford to pay for the service.
With this investment, Vumacam would also be putting cameras in arterial routes and green belt areas, he said.

Vumacam mast with CCTV cameras

Croock said the wider network coverage into underserved areas gives their security partners a much-enhanced ability to protect their clients and serve broader South African communities.
This ensures all South Africans benefit from the technology and the collaborative power of private and public law enforcement in fighting crime.

“SafeCity is a critical step in ensuring that access to innovative solutions enables all South Africans to live safer lives,” Croock said.

“The time has come to firmly put forward a concerted, collaborative effort to tackle the escalating crime pandemic in this country.”