Vumacam has announced it has connected seven of its CCTV poles in Rosebank and one in Braamfontein to the City Power grid in Johannesburg.
The company operates South Africa’s first and only Video Management-As-A-Service, with a network of hi-tech cameras strategically placed throughout the city’s streets.
These are connected to Vuma’s extensive fibre network to ensure a consistent, reliable, and quality surveillance service to law enforcement and security companies to assist in fighting crime and vandalism.
The direct connections to City Power’s grid comes after the metropolitan municipality previously accused Vumacam of illegally connecting electricity from City Power through third-party agreements with Johannesburg residents.
City Power sent a letter of demand to Vumacam on 3 September 2019 which instructed it to stop this practice and removed all connections with City Power’s customers within a week.
At the time, Vumacam said that it had engaged with City Power prior to setting up its network in 2017 in order to get direct access to electricity supplied by City Power itself.
However, the company claimed it was presented with commercials that were prohibitively expensive.
It therefore entered into contracts with City Power customers as an alternative to providing power for its camera network.
After the letter of demand, the parties met and it was agreed that a duly appointed, joint technical, legal, and commercial committee would be tasked with arriving at a solution for the dispute.
This process has now appeared to bear fruit, as Vumacam CEO Ricky Croock said the successful connections represented the start of a strong relationship between City Power and Vumacam.
“While we have been operating successfully using alternative power sources to the City Power grid to feed cameras in the City and suburbs of Johannesburg, our intention has always been to connect directly to the City Power grid,” said Croock.
He stated the direct connections would benefit Johannesburg and Vumacam’s growing pool of users.
“Our cameras provide invaluable support to the South African Police Service, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department and private security companies. They also play a huge role in protecting city assets from vandalism and other crimes,” Croock said.
The initial roll-out has focused on a few poles, but it is intended that more Vumacam poles will move on to the City Power grid soon.
“We are continuing discussions with the City of Johannesburg, City Power as well as the Johannesburg Roads Association,” Croock said.
“We believe that building a strong, cooperative working relationship between ourselves as a private operator, the City of Johannesburg and its key agencies will ultimately build a safer Joburg.”
Vumacam said it would share more details on the rollout once the logistics, billing, and the process for larger roll-outs were finalised with the City of Johannesburg.