Vumacam not in the business of tracking movements

Vumacam does not track movements or any particular person. We do not keep a record of personal or private information that would allow us to identify the identity of any person captured by the Vumacams, nor are our cameras making use of any facial recognition software. This makes it impossible to “track” movements and link personal data to people.

While all number plates passing a camera are captured, only if this plate is present on a database of known vehicles of interest (for instance the SAPS Unicode database of stolen and wanted vehicles) will an alert be generated to the security company. Once they receive this alert, they are able to access the image.  The users in the security company are authenticated through our firewalled network, in real-time. Whilst the security company is able to rewind, fast forward and playback footage, they are unable to download and store the footage. Licence plate numbers are not tracked unless they are involved in a verified incident.

Vumacam provides open access Video Management as a Service. Vumacam sells access to video feed to vetted companies who enter into a contract to abide by the terms and conditions which govern the acceptable use, processing and legitimate interest requirements. 

Ricky Croock, CEO of Vumacam, cautions against scammers who may be using Vumacam as an easy scapegoat to deflect searching for their whereabouts and how they may have obtained the information: “Shopping centres, in particular, make use of similar technology and they control access to their video feed themselves. No individual, no matter what they claim, will have access to Vumacam’s feed. Only verified entities, companies, and only once they have entered into a contract with Vumacam.  

A company will engage with Vumacam, and if successfully vetted, enter into a contract, which includes an agreement to be periodically audited by an independent external company to ensure adherence to the terms.”

City Power update

Dear Resident/Customer,


Following on from our previous communication regarding the letter of demand City Power served to Vumacam, we have formally replied to this letter to say that we have a difference of opinion relating to the legal issues raised.

It is important to let you know that we have also subsequently met with the Chief Executive Officer of City Power, Mr Lerato Setshedi, and his team, in a very constructive spirit to work on solving the matters related to the supply of power to the camera poles.

Both parties have agreed to reserve their differing legal interpretations of the relevant legislation and regulations concerning the matter, pending the work of the duly appointed, joint technical, legal and commercial committee tasked with arriving at a solution.

This solution will also ultimately inform the power requirement process for CCTV roll outs in the City of Joburg to be captured in the City’s proposed CCTV policy and bylaws currently under development in respect of public space. This will ensure consistency across the board and avoid a multitude of disparate systems being installed and clarify any confusion or concern around what is officially permitted.

We will update residents on the progress of the committee on an ongoing basis as we work with City Power to arrive at a sustainable solution for all parties.

Yours in safety,

Ricky Croock


Vumacam and City Power: Electrical connections

Dear Resident/Customer,


We have received communication from numerous customers and certain residents about correspondence which has been circulating on social media – primarily WhatsApp groups, Twitter and Facebook – and which emanates from City Power Johannesburg.

Vumacam wishes to highlight two important issues:

We engaged with City Power in 2017 prior to setting up Vumacam, and prior to commencing with the roll out of our CCTV Network, and we approached City Power requesting direct access to electricity supplied by City Power itself. In a meeting with City Power, it was discussed at length the most efficient way for Vumacam to access secure and stable electricity connections to individual cameras. Vumacam was presented with commercials that were prohibitively expensive for Vumacam to connect its cameras directly to the electrical grid. Together with City Power we explored various other options. It was therefore as a result of Vumacam’s engagement with City Power that Vumacam became aware that contracting with residents directly was an option.

It has always been our intention to be compliant, and we believe we have taken all reasonable and practical steps to be compliant, including obtaining legal opinion and advice, inspection and approval from a registered, independent electrical inspector, approved by the Department of Labour, confirming our installations were compliant.

We are wholly prepared to meet and discuss the many ways in which City Power and Vumacam can work together towards a mutually beneficial goal including, amongst other things, that of keeping City Power infrastructure, and most importantly the public in general, safe and secure.

City Power’s stance is particularly confusing given prior engagements with them and the role Vumacam has played, and continues to play, in combatting crime in the City. Vumacam exists as a response to a demand from residents of the City of Johannesburg for a safer, better policed city. In this regard we:

  • have actively assisted with the coordination of the various, fragmented security companies, encouraging efficient communication about criminal activity and suspected individuals across wide areas, as opposed to these efforts being constrained to the small, suburban areas in which individual security companies operate;
  • have contributed to and/or are responsible for approximately three to four arrests every day by private security companies and SAPS;
  • communicate regularly and openly with SAPS and have built up a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with SAPS as part of its various crime fighting initiatives;
  • can demonstrate that, in some areas in which Vumacam’s CCTV network is established, crime rates are down by up to as much as 30% (year on year);
  • have deployed cameras around schools to improve security and response times in relation to incidents which occur in these areas;
  •  have assisted in copper cable theft incidents, providing invaluable evidence and information which has assisted with identifying and arresting suspects; and
  • regularly interacts with and supports crime fighting initiatives presented by community policing and similar resident organisations, where residents are attempting to assist SAPS in fighting crime.

Vumacam is engaging with City Power on the issue it has now raised, in the hope that the matter may be resolved speedily and amicably.

We trust this addresses the various concerns raised in City Power’s communications. Please be assured that, despite what is being circulated by numerous ward councillors on social media, Vumacam has taken reasonable and practical steps to ensure that we are in compliance with all applicable laws.

Yours in safety,

Ricky Croock


Download Vumacam’s official statement

Eblockwatch Mandela Day “Ambush”

Eblockwatch Mandela Day “Ambush” kick starts Eblockwatch’s bold Alex initiative.

In the hopes of establishing a more structured security network in the Alexandra community, eblockwatch started a projected called the Alexandra Patrollers over a decade ago. The nature of the support took the form of “please call me” or SMS’ sent by the patrollers when a resident was in trouble or under threat and there would be a response by Snyman’s team with security reaction. These patrollers fondly became known as the Alexandra Mamas: a group of older ladies who implemented a simple, yet effective system of strolling down the streets, wrapped in warm blankets and armed with whistles which they blew if they noticed criminal activity. Working with the Alexandra Mamas – the man on the ground – was a fiery young man known as “Bulldog” who was the township contemporary to eblockwatch’s Andre Snyman.

The collaborative efforts with the Alexandra Mamas worked exceptionally well: they were the ones who would notify Snyman of the whereabouts of hijacked cars, for instance, allowing authorities at eblockwatch to be ahead of the game, aiding authorities in tracking down criminals. Their anonymity in the township was the Alexandra Mama’s greatest attribute. However, there was the question of what these incredible people helping put criminals behind bars, were getting in return.

In an effort to assist, Snyman attempted to get work for those connected to the Alexandra Mamas and their community, however, the picture was unjustly painted to resemble an exploitative exercise by the media which sadly brought the project to an end. Despite the end of the project, Alexandra remained close to Snyman’s heart.

“Alex is built in a series of blocks and on a clear night from a particular corner, you can see the beautiful lights of Sandton and big buildings going up, yet the people of Alex are still living in squalor. Attention is only paid to this area ahead of elections as part of a political game rather than our governments implementing real change. How is this right, especially when the locals know ‘that if Alex doesn’t eat by day, Sandton doesn’t sleep ‘by night? This is on my mind constantly and it’s been on my heart to try and deter the crime in that area before the next election.”

Snyman adds that his vision entails Alexandra being divided into small blocks with their own Residents Association (RA) which is then paired with an eblockwatch (RA), like Sandton, opening the lines of communication and collaborating to start aiding in solving one another’s problems. “The next phase would be to get the Residents Associations in the suburbs to cover the cost of a patrol vehicle in the block of the RA that they are linked to in Alex,” elaborated Snyman. An impassioned Snyman adds that “this way, you won’t need the Army in that area to solve crime.” This is where Snyman’s Mandela Day “ambushing” of Vumacam, smart camera network supplier, becomes significant.

Using the power of Vumacam’s technology, their cameras can create small, targeted units to collectively call on the security companies in the area, and along with the respective security companies and Johannesburg Metro Police Department, there can be an effective response to criminal activity in Alex. A novel idea which is taking root as Vumacam CEO, Ricky Croock, has agreed to sponsor R 5 000 000 worth of cameras to help bring this vision to life. After all, as Croock says, “our vision to make the whole of South Africa safe, especially in under-served areas is real and we are excited to be part of this eBlockwatch initiative”.

Snyman has it all worked out: “Phase one is where we get cameras up and at phase two, we back it up with security monitoring. This is followed by phase three when we implement trauma counselling, online education and other services that should be supplied by the government. Hereafter at phase four, we get the big corporates in to adopt a street and uplift, develop and change just one street. We can get online education sponsored and do so much if we come together, but it will start with getting these areas safer.
This is what needs to happen…this is UBUNTU, caring for ourselves and those who don’t have.”

If you would like to be part of this iniative please contact Andre Snyman on +27 82 561 1065 or email him on ryfsny@gmail.com

Source: Eblockwatch

AI Surveillance Success Story

“Now that I am working with Vumacam, there is a distinct difference between life before and life after the arrival of Vumacam. Where Vumacam really filled the gap was in two instances: the exceptional uptime of the feed and the quality of the footage. Having been in the surveillance sector for some time, I can say with confidence that before Vumacam, footage was always missing. Often this was not for any sinister reason, but because cameras were down and no one would know about this until they needed footage.

Prior to Vumacam, I experienced regular instances where the connectivity was always poor; the  service would go down and we would have to wait for ‘someone’ to fix it. What the average person or corporation doesn’t quite understand is that uptime on other surveillance suppliers is not being measured and if it were being measured, in any given public space, the uptime would likely be well below the 80% mark. 

Vumacam has guaranteed a 96% uptime which is incredible and this has absolutely been the case consistently since I have worked with them. They have teams in place for every aspect of the surveillance system: from ensuring you get the fibre if it is not installed, to CCTV installation and maintenance teams; to the software engineers monitoring the servers. Vumacam offers everything you need from an intelligent, public space, CCTV surveillance aspect. They are the future of safer cities. 

A key aspect of surveillance is that I should be able to trust that I can get my hands on the footage should I need it. With Vumacam, I absolutely trust that I will. 

Due to Vumacam’s Licence Plate Recognition (LPR) software, we have had multiple successes in identifying cars involved with crime or suspicious activities and we have had armed response companies taking stolen vehicles off the road as a result – which is a major win for the city. 

Vumacam’s size and their knowledge of the industry have allowed them to work efficiently with the regulators of surveillance. They have taken on a big risk to make safer cities and have afforded us as monitoring and security companies access to public space surveillance sector – a task that would be too big to take on as individuals. 

I have worked with the system enough to know that Vumacam walks the talk and adheres to all the policies that they put into practice. There are no shortcuts with the team which should allay all the fears of consumers when it comes to concerns around their personal information or privacy. 

There cannot be a downside to having them. In the climate we live in, how could we say no to greater, more effective security. Security companies are now proactively dispatching units because of Vumacam without the major additional cost factor. It’s a win-win situation on all fronts”

Rob Nichol.

AI Surveillance


MAIL&GUARDIAN: SA’s suburban camera creep tests privacy

A thousand private surveillance cameras have been rolled out in Johannesburg. They watch every person and car that moves near them. If their algorithms pick up something strange — such as a licence plate known to be linked to crimes — the security companies that rent the data can react.

Vumacam, one of the companies responsible, says a total of 16 000 cameras will be in place in the next 12 months.

Thanks to their security abilities, the cameras have been warmly welcomed by some as a way to curb crime, but others view them as an invasion of privacy and have questioned whether such surveillance is lawful.

Information regulator Pansy Tlakula says her office has already received complaints.

Under current legislation it is all probably legal.

But the law is changing and with it will come stronger protections of the data.

The system uses fibre network infrastructure from Vumatel and other providers in the city to connect the cameras and provide a live feed and a licence-plate recognition service. Access to the feed is then sold to neighbourhood security companies.

Tlakula says her office — whose job it is to monitor and enforce compliance with information laws — is finalising its position paper on the surveillance cameras and would be adopting it on June 6.

But experts agree that the law in this area is complicated. The Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia) — which was enacted to govern the collection and sharing of information in the digital age — is yet to come into force.

For now, our common law privacy laws are weak in situations such as this, says Webber Wentzel partner and information law expert Dario Milo: “Vumacam may not be doing anything that could result in a legitimate complaint at this stage.”

When Popia does come into force, however, it will give very strong protection to people’s personal information, says Milo.

But he also says: “The Act is riddled with exceptions — consent of the ‘data subject’ [the person being surveilled] is the golden rule, but there are exceptions. Informing the data subject that information is being collected is the golden rule; but again, there are exceptions. And so on. That’s what makes it complicated. And there are many questions which will have to be grappled with by our courts and the regulator over the coming years.”

Vumacam says it is compliant with Popia. But, it is difficult because it is a new law, yet to be interpreted by the courts. Ashleigh Parry, its chief commercial officer says: “There is also no predecessor legislation for interpretative guidance … For now, the best we can do is to interpret Popia according to the general language-context-purpose framework for statutory interpretation in South African law.”

She says Vumacam had also looked at the laws from jurisdictions with more developed data protection laws, such as the European Union.

Public interest lawyer Avani Singh of Power Singh Inc says the Act allows for the collection and distribution of information under very strict conditions — all of which Vumacam would be required to meet.

She says the two underlying principles of the Act — when it comes to the collection and sharing (called “processing” in the Act) of data — are justifiability and proportionality: you may process data where is it justifiable and where the intrusion into someone’s privacy is proportional to what you are seeking to achieve.

However, the proportionality requirement includes a “principle of minimality — that personal information may only be processed if, given the purpose for which it is processed, it is adequate, relevant and not excessive”.

Singh is concerned about whether Vumacam would be fully compliant with Popia, “particularly without full and transparent disclosure being made by Vumacam”.

“Having 15 000 cameras placed indiscriminately, recording everything about all persons in its vicinity, may be difficult to justify as proportional and ‘not excessive’, which is what Popia requires,” says Singh.

The Act also requires that, if someone is going to collect information without people’s consent, the personal information must be collected for a “specific, explicitly defined and lawful purpose”, which as a general principle should be made known to data subjects.

Vumacam says on its website that it installs the cameras to protect people’s safety. Singh agrees that people’s safety would arguably fall within the Act’s “legitimate interests of the data subjects” justification .

But she suggests that this is not the only purpose: there is a profit motive also. Any further processing — such as the selling of this information to security companies — would also need to be compatible with the purpose for which it was originally collected and made known to the affected data subjects.

Milo adds that one of the questions that remains to be answered is what the legitimate interest of the “responsible party”, such as Vumacam, is when processing information for security purposes.

Parry says the Act does not say which purposes are acceptable. It only requires a purpose be “specific, explicitly defined and lawful” and be “related to a function or activity of the responsible party”.

“This indicates that there is nothing to prevent Vumacam from using footage for ‘commercial purposes’ provided those requirements are met”. Vumacam would still, however, need to comply with the rest of Popia, she says.

Safeguarding information is also a consideration. Vumacam says it is only stored for 30 days and security companies may not download it.

Thirty days appears to be a reasonable period, says Singh. Yet there are also Popia requirements for how the information is stored, shared and subsequently destroyed she says — including that these measures constitute “appropriate, reasonable technical and organisational measures”.

Parry says the latter is the overarching principle. “The nuts and bolts of appropriate safeguards depends on ‘general accepted information security practices and procedures’.” She says Vumacam has taken guidance from the EU and United Kingdom in this regard.

Parry provides a list of the security companies that are clients, which include Tracker, MiWay and CAP Security. She and Milo both say that, under the Act, Vumacam remains responsible and liable for the information collected.

The clients are subject to a vetting process and enter into a contract with Vumacam, which includes periodic audits by a third party to ensure adherence, says Parry.

The company puts up notices in the areas where there are cameras. Singh says the notice should include telling people who the information will be shared with and make clear what the purpose is.

But Parry says the law requires that it must take “reasonably practical steps” to inform members of the public about all this.

“Vumacam does not need to comply with this requirement if compliance is not reasonably practicable. However, we do put public notices on all active poles with indication on where to find processing, storage and data-use information.”

Parry says the company’s research showed people are more concerned about their safety then their privacy.

“But we are aware of the philosophical argument on privacy. And that is why we have taken so much care to ensure we comply with the law”.

Source: Mail&Guardian


RANDBURG SUN: Cameras for your safety

The UFOs have landed. Numerous poles with strange grey pods have popped up on street corners all over the city, leaving many wondering exactly what their purpose is. Well, in case you haven’t heard, these new poles are for Vumacam, and it aims to revolutionise the way security operates in Joburg.

Security cameras will be attached underneath each pod and will allow private security companies to monitor them via Vumatel’s fibre network.

Right now, the operation is live and actively deploying across the city, but their plans are big for the entire country.

Gavin Hill is the director of Highpeak based in Sharonlea, one of the companies working with Vumacam and is responsible for network monitoring, system troubleshooting, and a solution to help in the processing of data.

Hill said, “This project has started in Joburg and is growing rapidly. Vumacam approached us to help with a number of services to accelerate their deployment and leverage some of our skills in the IT space. We delivered a portfolio of services to Vumacam that they outsource to private security companies. At scale, they are going to have tens of thousands of cameras on the fibre network across the country.”

Vumcam’s Ashleigh Parry said, “Our aim is to make South Africa a safer place by providing a CCTV platform that transforms how security and communities work together. We’ve created a solution that not only contributes to the efficiencies and effectiveness, we also envision it will, over time, contribute to the success of South Africa.”

The cameras allow pedestrian, vehicle, even pet and bird movement to be recorded in amazingly clear resolution.

Hill continued, “The Vumacam network generates a massive amount of data each day, for instance in the scanning of vehicle number plates, it scans between 2.5 million licence plates per day and as many as 300 per second during rush hour.”

Number plates are scanned and compared against the police circulation database, allowing the system to check if the vehicle is wanted by the police for criminal activity or has been stolen. Based on that, information is given to private security or residents associations to work in conjunction with the police to react or intercept the vehicle.

Highpeak’s technology manager Brandon Grant and company director Gavin Hill. Photo: Reuven Blignault

Parry said, “Every vehicle passing an LPR camera is checked against multiple verified databases, including SAPS listed stolen vehicles, forged plates and perpetrators on the run. Security professionals monitor feed, overlay analytics and access the LPR solution from a centralised video management system.”

Hill added, “The technology can identify whether or not a camera has been tampered with. If a criminal tampers with a camera to commit a crime, the timeframe in which an alert goes out to the security company and the criminal has to commit a crime is very tight. A security camera solution is not a replacement for traditional security. Security vehicles will still patrol as usual, this is an extra measure.”

“In this day and age privacy is a hot topic of debate and we have built our solution to ensure that concerns are respected. Our feed is only available to vetted security companies who enter into a contract with us, including agreeing to periodic audits, to ensure they abide by our strict terms and conditions, to monitor public space and track vehicles of interest. Private individuals are in fact unable to access recordings other than by following the Promotion of the Access to Information Act (PAIA) process. Further, we ensure that we adhere rigidly to the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPI) and have acquired various legal opinions to ensure we are compliant.

“Although we’re primarily focused on keeping communities safer, we see the need for cities to become smarter and more efficient. We hope that we can be a part of that exciting future,” Parry added

Source: Randburg Sun


MONEYWEB: Vumatel to blanket Joburg in CCTV camera’s

The company plans to spend R500m covering Johannesburg with CCTV systems.

Have you wondered about the camera poles popping up in suburbs across Johannesburg and who’s building them? The mystery has been solved: Vumatel subsidiary Vumacam is responsible — it is building a citywide CCTV network offering ultra-high-definition video feeds to security companies and ultimately law-enforcement agencies.

Vumacam is utilising Vumatel’s fibre network infrastructure in the city to connect the cameras, more than 900 which have already been deployed (capable of carrying 3 000 CCTV cameras). It plans to roll out a total of 15 000 cameras across the city, with much of the deployment expected to be completed in the next 12 months. Vumacam plans to sell the video feeds to neighbourhood security companies by area.

The “secure public surveillance network” includes advanced software features that will allow for the automatic detection of stolen vehicles using a link to a central database, for example.

Vumacam is a joint venture between Vumatel (51%) and Imfezeko Holdings (49%). The company plans to spend about R500-million covering Johannesburg with CCTV systems. It has received support and wayleaves from the City of Johannesburg for the deployment. The primary focus for now is on security, but there are many other potential ancillary benefits, said Vumatel co-founder Niel Schoeman.

Schoeman said the network will use its own fibre in Vumatel’s ducts and the fibre networks of other providers. The video traffic — it will generate 30 petabytes of data a month — won’t have an impact on Vumatel broadband customers.

“Vumacam’s vision is ambitious: to make South Africa a safer place by providing a CCTV platform that transforms how security and communities work together,” the company said in statement. “We’ve created a solution that not only contributes to the efficiencies and effectiveness, we also envision it will, over time, contribute to the success of South Africa socioeconomically.”


Schoeman said the Vumacam solution offers advantages over neighbourhood CCTV initiatives, which are deployed as “islands”. If a crime happens in one suburb, a suspect’s getaway vehicle can’t be tracked from suburb to suburb, for example. Vumacam’s system can monitor the suspect vehicle as it moves across the city, helping in crime-fighting efforts.

“CCTV monitoring is not new to suburbs in South Africa, which are traditionally put up by resident associations, security companies or schools in disparate, and unconnected geographical communities. These isolated ‘islands’ do not speak to each other, and the footage is often grainy and unusable due to inconsistent non-fibre network connections,” the company said.

The Vumacam system is compliant with the Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act. “Our feed is only available to vetted security companies who enter into a contract with us, including agreeing to periodic audits, to ensure they abide by our strict terms and conditions, to monitor public spaces and track vehicles of interest. Private individuals are, in fact, unable to access recordings other than by following the Promotion of Access to Information Act process. Furthermore, we ensure that we adhere rigidly to the Popi Act and have acquired various legal opinions to ensure we are compliant.”

The cameras have licence plate recognition (LPR) functionality. Every vehicle passing an LPR camera is checked against multiple databases of verified vehicles of interest, including police-listed stolen vehicles, forged plates and perpetrators on the run. Security professionals monitor feed, overlay analytics and access the LPR solution from a centralised video management system.

Vumacam’s video-management platform has built-in functions for encryption, strong password protection and immutable time-stamping. This ensures that footage can be viewed only by authorised viewers and prevents the video from being altered or manipulated.

In terms of expansion plans, Schoeman indicated that Cape Town will likely be the next city to get the Vumacam system once Vumatel’s fibre network has reached critical mass there.  — © 2019 NewsCentral Media

Source: www.moneyweb.co.za

BUSINESS LIVE: Vumacam aims to help make suburbs safer

Security cameras have become a regular sight in suburbs around SA, but they are often installed by security firms or neighbourhood organisations in an isolated way and offer poor quality images.

Vumatel, which kickstarted fibre-to-the-home in 2014 in the Johannesburg suburb of Parkhurst, unveiled its own network of cameras on Thursday, which offer high-definition images and intelligent monitoring, using its own fibre infrastructure.

Blurred street-camera footage is to get an upgrade with fibre-to-home technology and links to professional security companies and the police

Previously, CCTV monitoring was typically put up by resident associations, security companies or schools in a disparate and unconnected way, says Vumatel executive chair Niel Schoeman. These “isolated islands” did not share information with each other, and often supplied grainy, poor quality footage. When there is a power outage, or they stopped functioning, nothing was captured — which was often only discovered when trying to retrieve the footage, he says.

“These traditional CCTV suburb solutions acting in isolation, ensure that once suspects or known perpetrators move outside the covered suburb, they ‘ghost’ or disappear unless they happen to cross into another ‘island’ that hopefully has both surveillance capability and licence plate recognition software. Even then, the chances of these being linked and on the same network, are slim to none,” he said in a statement.

With Vumatel’s fibre network, which covers parts of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, the company realised it was possible “to make public-space CCTV surveillance a truly effective tool to address crime, contribute to safer environments and bring neighbourhoods together”.

By partnering with security firms and residents’ associations, Vumacam, a joint venture between Vumatel and Imfezeko Investment Holdings, hopes to add a “significant layer of security” to neighbourhoods and cities.

“Privacy is a hot topic of debate and we have built our solution to ensure that concerns are respected. Our feed is only available to vetted security companies that enter into a contract with us, including agreeing to periodic audits, to ensure they abide by our strict terms and conditions to monitor public space and track so-called vehicles of interest,” Schoeman says.

“Private individuals are, in fact, unable to access recordings other than by following the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) process. Further, we ensure that we adhere rigidly to the Protection of Personal Information (Popi) Act and have acquired various legal opinions to ensure we are compliant.”

The cameras also have licence plate recognition functionality that scans passing cars and checks multiple databases of verified vehicles of interest. These include stolen vehicles listed by the SA Police Service and forged plates.

Ultimately, these cameras could be used to help make cities smarter and tackle congestion by giving city managers detailed information on traffic flow and congestion points.

Source: www.businesslive.co.za

MY BROADBAND: How Vumacam’s CCTV system works

Vumatel unveiled its CCTV platform Vumacam this week, which it hopes will help make South Africa’s streets and neighbourhoods safer.

The Vumacam system is initially only available in Johannesburg, and currently consists of 889 cameras covering 48 suburbs.

There are 917 camera poles installed around the city, however, which when fully populated will hold over 3,000 cameras.

The video feeds from Vumacam’s CCTV system are then made available to security companies for a monthly fee, depending how many cameras they would like access to.

Vumacam is also in discussions with the police and car tracking companies to provide their CCTV feeds, it said.

How Vumacam works

Vumacam’s business model is based on providing its video feeds to security companies and enforcement agencies for a subscription fee, which is based on how many cameras they want access to.

Vumacam assembles and installs the CCTV cameras in the areas it rolls out to, ensuring there is adequate coverage and the quality of the video feed is up to its standards. Its “video as a service” is then open to companies after they have been heavily vetted.

This means that multiple security companies can subscribed to the same camera feed, and if a new security company is hired by a resident’s organisation, for example, it can access the vendor-neutral CCTV infrastructure.

Vumacam said its CCTV system transfers its UHD feed via fibre connections to Teraco’s data centre. From there, it can be distributed to security control rooms which have subscribed to their service.

Security companies have the ability to view the feeds they have access to, lay intelligent software on top of the feed to make footage processing quicker and easier, and rewind their feeds to look back at certain places at certain times.

Vumacam emphasised that the companies cannot download the footage, however, and footage is only stored on their system for 30 days.

“Data is securely stored in a Tier 3 data centre, which is accessed by a secure connection. This ensures it is not subject to interference and not at risk of local disturbance.”

It added that 96% uptime for its systems is guaranteed, unless an issue is beyond its control – such as extended load-shedding.

In terms of regulation, Vumacam said their system is POPI Act compliant and meets the most stringent privacy requirements.


Where Vumacam’s system really stands out from your standard CCTV camera installation, however, is its advanced software features.

It not only provides a live feed from cameras, but also serves licence plate recognition (LPR) services, exception alerts, and the ability to isolate elements in an area.

The LPR functionality does as its name suggests, and every vehicle passing an LPR camera is checked against multiple databases – including SAPS-listed stolen vehicles.

The “exception” notifications allow incidents to be surfaced to a security command centre, such as a vehicle illegally dumping in a park, which means operators do not need to watch hundreds of screens the time looking for potential crimes.

Software can also be laid on top of the video feed which allows security operators to search for specific objects during a set time period – such as a red car on a particular street on a Wednesday. This makes investigating incidents reported after the fact much quicker and easier.


Vumacam said it plans to expand across Johannesburg in the next 12 months, with a rollout from Braamfontein in the south to Woodmead in the north.

This will consist of 15,000 cameras when complete and R500 million has been allocated for this expansion.

The map below shows Vumacam’s expansion plans.



Source: www.mybroadband.co.za