Advice and Opinion

Private CCTV registrations top 300 mark

The City of Cape Town has registered 313 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras belonging to 23 organisations across the city. The registrations are in line with the provisions of the Regulation of External and Privately Owned CCTV Cameras on City Property Policy, which was approved in June 2014. Applications have also been received from four other organisations for the installation of 26 cameras viewing public roads.

‘The bulk of the registrations and applications to date have come from city improvement districts, neighbourhood watch organisations and residents’ associations. We have received only a handful of registrations from individuals, but hopefully this number will increase as residents become more aware of the policy. We will also engage with camera owners where we come across unregistered infrastructure and help them with the registration process,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

The policy aims to better regulate the increase in privately-owned CCTV cameras that are installed on City land and infrastructure and to keep an effective record of ownership of such infrastructure, should footage be required in investigations by the South African Police Service and information gathering by the City’s enforcement agencies.

‘This also applies to cameras that are installed on private property but that monitor public areas belonging to the City. It is important to highlight that we are not seeking to restrict CCTV installations and ownership. We just want a clear idea of which areas are covered, to what extent, and by whom. We can then also broaden our safety net by having more eyes on crime and other incidents and being able to tap into that resource to assist with police investigations. The various organisations operating CCTV systems across the city are doing excellent work. Many have had humble beginnings and have grown into efficient crime prevention entities within their communities. Some have developed operational and funding models that can be mimicked across the city and we applaud their efforts,’ added Alderman Smith.

The City is committed to working with various communities to make Cape Town safer. To this end, the Safety and Security Directorate recently signed a cooperation protocol with the Licence Plate Recognition User Group (LPR UG) to work together. The City is looking to expand the number of vehicles fitted with licence plate recognition cameras, which will augment the static systems already in place across the city.

Applications for registration must be submitted via Details are available in the policy document here: