Vumacam and City Power: Electrical connections

5th September 2019 ,

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