Big Brother gets bigger as Cape Town’s arsenal of security cameras grows

City of Cape Town mayoral committee member JP Smith said much of the success of the security cameras is due to the city’s partnership with neighbourhood watches. Image: City of Cape Town

“The world’s most boring movie” draws 120 people to watch it in front of huge monitors every hour of every day.

The City of Cape Town’s transport management centre in Goodwood serves as the cinema, a 24-hour live stream from 1,600 CCTV cameras installed around the city.

“An officer is only aware of his immediate surroundings,” said JP Smith, the mayoral committee member for safety and security. “You have eyes in many more places than if you had officers on the ground. You can cover much more territory [with the cameras].”

In addition to the 159 new cameras planned for public transport interchanges and bus stations this year, the city adds an average of 30 to 40 cameras annually, according to metro police superintendent Kevin Cole.

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