How many crime-fighting cameras the Gauteng government has installed

The Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) has installed 144 cameras in public areas to fight crime and plans to roll out around 1,100 more as part of an agreement with Vumacam.

On Tuesday, 13 February 2024, Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi posted on Twitter/X that the province had launched around 7,000 new cameras.

He also stated that the cameras had been switched on across all streets of Gauteng, townships, suburbs, informal settlements, and hostels.

Queried about his choice of words, a spokesperson explained that “launch” in this context meant “inaugurated” and that “new” refers to the fact that there wasn’t a relationship between Vumacam and the GPG before.

The vast majority of the cameras Lesufi referred to were installed by Vumacam and private security companies. The first of these cameras started operating around five years ago.

As part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) announced on Tuesday, the GPG is getting access to feeds on Vumacam’s network, assisting provincial authorities’ efforts in combatting crime.

The network is made up of 6,000 cameras in Gauteng and a further 5,000 across the country, rolled out by partners like Fidelity and Navic.

Through Vumacam’s Proof platform, security companies can get access to the feeds to help protect their customers and apprehend criminals.

Other public entities, such as the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) and the South African Police Service (SAPS), also benefit from the service through the SafeCity initiative.

Vumacam pole network in Gauteng, as of December 2023.
Vumcam network across South Africa, including partner cameras

MyBroadband asked the Gauteng government to clarify its use of Vumacam and to learn whether it had contributed cameras to the network.

A spokesperson said that deploying CCTV cameras was vital to the province’s goal of combatting crime through technology.

“The Premier has consistently maintained that combating crime is a joint effort. This collaboration with the private sector signifies a significant step towards that objective,” the spokesperson said.

Of the 7,000 cameras noted by the premier, the GPG had installed 144 leased units in all the province’s developmental corridors, focusing on townships, information settlements, and hostels. 

These cameras are equipped with advanced capabilities, including facial recognition, vehicle recognition, and behaviour recognition capabilities, such as tripwire detection, intrusion detection, and people counting.

The spokesperson stressed that the facial recognition capability was not active as it was restricted by the Protection of Personal Information Act and the absence of a comprehensive database for identifying individuals linked to criminal activities.

Vumacam’s network does not support facial recognition either, as the company believes it is unreliable, unethical, and ineffective.

More cameras coming

The spokesperson said the GPG would roll out an additional 1,100 cameras in townships and informal settlements as part of the MOU with Vumcam.

The province also plans to partner with the South African National Roads Agency to integrate a network of highway cameras.

“Collaborations are also planned with other private security firms that possess relevant technologies, further reinforcing this multi-sector approach to crime prevention,” they said. 

The table below summarises the locations of the cameras installed by the Gauteng government.

Gauteng government surveillance cameras
Name of Corridor Region  Areas to be covered  Wards  Installed Cameras 
Western (46)  Krugersdorp  Phathudi  24  4 
Thutofela  25  4 
Munseinville primary  27  4 
Khutsong  Relebogile  2  4 
Khutsong police station  2  4 
Badirile  7  4 
Mohlakeng  Bulelani Primary  11  4 
G.E.P    4 
Kagiso  Tsakane Primary    2 
Kagiso sports ground  5  4 
Patrick Primary  34  4 
Eastern (20)  Katlehong  Huntersfield Stadium  51  2 
Tsakane  Geluksdal Community Hall  82  4 
Tembisa  Winnie Mandela centre  3  8 
Emmangweni  5  2 
Benoni  School of Art    4 
Southern (26)  Ratanda  Lesedi school  03  8 
Sharpville  Rhonda yende hall  13  6 
Sebokeng  Botebo tsebo Primary  30  8 
Boipatong  Boipatong Monument  08  4 
Northern (12)  Atteridgeville  Gazankulu clinic   72  4 
Leratong Hospice  51  4 
Mamelodi East  Fire station building  40  4 
Central (22)  Diepsloot  Magogo Tarven  113  3 
Mashamplane  95  4 
Ext 10 passage  113  2 
Tanganani Ext3 grounds  113  2 
Ravele and GS Superstore  95  2 
Ext8  Sarafina Park  95  5 
Pitsi and Tlou Street  95  4 
GPG owned hostels (18)  City of JHB  MBA Hostel   – 2 
Murray & Roberts Hostel   – 3 
Jeppe Hostel   – 4 
Denver Hostel   – 2 
George Gosh Hostel   – 4 
Rethabile LTA Hostel   – 3 
Total   144 

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How many crime-fighting cameras the Gauteng government has installed