If you’ve driven around Gauteng for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve spotted at least one of those Vumacam-branded cam stations dotted around the place. They’re part of what Vumacam calls the SafeCity initiative, and now it’s getting the government involved. It’ll be giving Gauteng’s Provincial Government immediate access to its extensive camera network. All in the name of fighting crime and promoting safety across the province, of course.
Vumacam level: over 6,000!
The partnership, announced at a press briefing in Milpark this morning, will see Gauteng benefitting from that over 6,000-strong camera network and “advanced crime-fighting technologies” across the province’s major areas — finally delivering on the promises made by Panyaza Lesufi to fight crime with technology at the forefront.
The deal also states that the GPG will get access to “another 5,000 partner cameras across South Africa, which would ensure any known vehicle involved in a criminal activity in another province would trigger an immediate alert if seen by the cameras within Gauteng.”
And apparently, those 11,000 cameras aren’t enough. The GPG and Vumcam have committed to ensuring the installation of an even larger network of cameras, with plans to roll these out to Gauteng’s “underserved areas,” such as townships, informal settlements and hostels. Neither the GPG nor Vumcam offered any sort of timeframe for when this might happen, or the sort of budget allocated to the project. We’ll just have to rely on the government’s word until that happens.
“The Gauteng Department of e-Government is mandated to ensure that technology strengthens the immediate fight against crime, corruption, vandalism, and lawlessness,” Vumcam said.
Under this mandate, Vumcam’s technology will actively play a role in providing evidence to relevant enforcement agencies where necessary, “maintaining public order; preventing antisocial behaviour and nuisance; providing reassurance and economic wellbeing.”
This isn’t the first time Vumacam’s tech has been employed against the country’s criminals. It’s long been a part of the Eyes and Ears Initiative (E2) between Business Against Crime South Africa (BACSA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS). To date, according to Vumacam, this partnership has already seen “multiple successes” thanks to the SafeCity programme, noting over 400 interceptions registered across Gauteng monthly.
“We believe that the alerts from our extensive network delivered through our world-class software platform, and verified by expertly trained operators will result in a new normal in the fight against crime in South Africa’s economic heartland,” said Vumacam CEO Ricky Croock. “As we continue to foster collaboration to fight crime between the private and public sector through technology, we continue to invest in and grow our infrastructure and platform,” he said.