Right2Know campaign pushes for 'illegal' Lonehill CCTV cameras to be taken down

The 58 public surveillance cameras installed in Lonehill have come under sharp focus as the City of Joburg's "spy" camera saga heads for an appeal, with the Right2Know (R2K) campaign pushing for the "illegal" cameras to be taken down. Correspondence seen by The Citizen show that the city's senior legal advisor, Perry-Como Smith, advised the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to cancel the wayleave for the cameras installed by the Lonehill Residents Association (LRA). He also made a written undertaking that these cameras would be removed but activist and resident, Gavin Borrageiro, has complained that the cameras are still recording. Borrageiro...
The 58 public surveillance cameras installed in Lonehill have come under sharp focus as the City of Joburg's "spy" camera saga heads for an appeal, with the Right2Know (R2K) campaign pushing for the "illegal" cameras to be taken down.

Correspondence seen by The Citizen show that the city's senior legal advisor, Perry-Como Smith, advised the Johannesburg Roads Agency (JRA) to cancel the wayleave for the cameras installed by the Lonehill Residents Association (LRA). He also made a written undertaking that these cameras would be removed but activist and resident, Gavin Borrageiro, has complained that the cameras are still recording. Borrageiro said the city's ombud recommended that the wayleave for the cameras be cancelled.

"The complaint is with regards to illegal surveillance. LRA needs to show us where they have their wayleave because we have evidence to the contrary," said Borrageiro.

"The fact is the wayleave was cancelled and evidence on file from the city says [LRA does] not have wayleaves."

The ombud had concluded that the wayleave was "granted without following the due process of law, by holding a public consultation for the affected… Therefore the granting of the wayleave without consultation was in breach of [Promotion of Access to Information Act] thus, must be cancelled. Instruction was given to the JRA to cancel."

LRA general manager Keith Rampton has consistently refused to answer questions about the status of their wayleave, insisting on seeing the R2K's complaint before commenting. The LRA also operates an artificial intelligence camera at the Lonehill Dam Park, which has sparked concerns around the rights and privacy of children as it was filming the play area.

City of Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said "the matter is before court as the city has appealed and we cannot comment at this stage".

The city is involved in a legal tussle over the installation of surveillance cameras in mostly wealthy suburbs, with the matter likely to go as far as the Constitutional Court.

siphom@citizen.co.z

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