Keeping Century City safe since 2016

CCTV Handbook 2021 Editor's Choice

Cape Town’s Century City is a sought-after address among discerning home and business owners, revered for offering all the 21st century creature comforts one could want. Amenities include Canal Walk Shopping Centre, six hotels, top restaurants and numerous recreational facilities safeguarded by sophisticated security technology.

“Incorporating technology in safety and security is paramount for running Century City effectively,” says Marinus Boshoff, safety and security manager of the Century City Property Owners’ Association (CCPOA). He adds, “ATG digital’s research and development has played a pivotal role in the success of our security operations centre, or SOC.”

Century City’s state-of-the-art SOC is the nerve centre where inbound data from a network of camera systems, vehicles, security personnel and software is monitored and analysed. This is no small feat for a city with over 4000 front doors that welcomes 21 million visitors a year.

A digital transformation initiative

Initially, the CCPOA, which prioritises technology as a driver for a safer city, identified ATG Digital’s handheld driver’s licence scanners as the perfect replacement for pen-and-paper visitor registration books, which are susceptible to theft, loss and illegibility.

The first device was installed at the precinct gate in August of 2016 to digitise visitor registration and aid with PoPIA compliance. It wasn’t long before the CCPOA noticed that the solution was also helping to alleviate congestion at the gate. So, more devices were employed as a security and traffic management tool for access into high traffic volume precinct entrances.

Traffic has naturally increased over the years as the city has grown. Despite this, the CCPOA has successfully mitigated high volumes to date thanks to several advantages of the ATG Digital Solution, namely:

• Faster, accurate processing at access points.

• The ability to channel access groups.

• Identification of incorrect control mechanisms. The system brought to light the fact that tenants without access tags were signing in as visitors.

• Empowering officers with professional tools, thus contributing to the precincts’ intrinsic value.

• Allowing for the redeployment of security personnel to high and low volumes areas based on ATG intelligence.

ATG data provides real-time insight on where pre-lockdown levels of activity are resuming. Thus allowing the CCPOA to best manage and deploy their resources where needed.

Evolving benefits

At the turn of 2017, the SOC was armed with digital, collated data from multiple devices. The value of the harvested data was quickly realised and used for crime threat analysis and investigations, focusing on organised crime.

Boshoff adds: “During a strategic review, we identified housebreaking threats (both residential and commercial) were on the increase due to vehicles entering with false number plates. ATG didn’t hesitate to start research and development on a solution to verify data in real-time. Together, we were able to do so by referencing the licence plate number against the scanned vehicle data for a match.”

With that, ATG’s IoT Smart Cam was borne. It forms an integral part of the Century City Smart Safety & Security solution. This level of integration with licence plate recognition and incident management data was the first of its kind in South Africa at the time.

Significantly reducing crime

The ATG Smart Cam Solution acts as an early warning system and additional tracking mechanism for suspect vehicles. The system can also record pictures of cars. In some cases, it provides details of the driver and the number of suspects in the vehicle. Boshoff reports that these benefits have “significantly reduced crime by enabling the pro-activeness of the SOC team and improving their response time to threats.”

Business integration

Century City’s smart city philosophy is to uphold international best practice across five key segments:

1. Smart urban precinct management.

2. Smart environmental sustainability.

3. Smart community.

4. Smart connectivity and communication.

5. Smart safety and security.

In support of this philosophy, it seemed natural to offer the same leading access control technology to commercial occupants within the city. After all, some 650 000 square metres of the city comprise commercial and retail entities.

ATG Digital’s front desk safety and security solution, ATR, has been tailored to integrate with business information systems that are exclusively available to businesses within the precinct. At Reception enables electronic, self-service visitor sign-in from a tablet interface. The solution’s no-touch capabilities have proven popular among companies that are adhering to Covid-19 safety protocols.


What started with a single scanning device to digitise visitor registration at Century City’s main gate has evolved into a comprehensive, fully integrated access control and security solution. This comprises public and private installations as follows:

Public solutions: Seven precinct entry and egress gates fitted with ATG scanners, ATG IoT Cams and ATG relay-controlled booms.

Private stakeholders: 32 access points protected via a mix of ATG scanners at business’ gates and the ATR Smart tablet reception solution.

Looking ahead, ATG Digital spokesperson, Ariel Flax hints that more innovations are on the way. He says, “We are committed to continual R&D; to keep South Africa’s first enabled smart city in pole position.”

Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page

Further reading:

Accenture Technology Vision 2023
Editor's Choice News
New report states that generative AI is expected to usher in a ‘bold new future’ for business, merging physical and digital worlds, transforming the way people work and live.

Economists divided on global economic recovery
Editor's Choice News
Growth outlook has strengthened in all regions, but chief economists are divided on the likelihood of a global recession in 2023; experts are concerned about trade-off between managing inflation and maintaining financial stability, with 76% anticipating central banks to struggle to bring down inflation.

Success in business process best practices
Technews Publishing Kleyn Change Management Editor's Choice Integrated Solutions Security Services & Risk Management
This month we commandeer time with the woman who is spearheading our national conversation on Women in Security, Lesley-Anne Kleyn, to get to know the lady herself a little better.

SAFPS to launch a platform to combat fraud
Editor's Choice News Security Services & Risk Management
In response to the growing need for a proactive approach to fraud prevention, the SAFPS is developing a product called Yima, which will be a one-stop-shop for South Africans to report scams, secure their identity, and scan any website for vulnerabilities.

Relaxed home cybersecurity could render consumers accidental ‘inside actors’
Editor's Choice Cyber Security Smart Home Automation
Cisco security experts warn of snowball impact of relaxed approach to cybersecurity on personal devices, noting 60% of users primarily use their personal phone for work tasks and 76% have used unsecured public networks for work tasks.

The importance of the operator’s frame of reference
Leaderware Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Security Services & Risk Management Mining (Industry)
The better the operator’s frame of reference and situational awareness, and the more informed they are in dealing with CCTV surveillance in the mining industry, the more successful they are likely to be in surveillance.

The art of drive and focus
Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Mining (Industry)
Riette Smeda did not find security, security found her. In doing so, she found an environment where grit and determination make all the difference in a country where crime pays.

AI, risk management, and frameworks
Blacklight Group Technews Publishing Editor's Choice Security Services & Risk Management Mining (Industry)
A risk management framework is a basic necessity to meet the always-evolving criminal war against mines, perpetrated by ruthless organised crime gangs that often are better informed and resourced than their targets.

Complex, but critical partner in security
Technews Publishing Bidvest Protea Coin Editor's Choice Integrated Solutions IT infrastructure Mining (Industry)
Smart Security looks at how drones can be applied effectively in mine security operations. The ability to quickly gain a birds-eye view of a situation, whether security, safety or operational in nature, makes drones a significant value-add to mines.

Enhancing surveillance on mines
Avigilon Technews Publishing Axis Communications SA Forbatt SA Hikvision South Africa Bosch Building Technologies Editor's Choice CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring Integrated Solutions Mining (Industry)
Smart Security approached a number of surveillance vendors to find out what the latest in surveillance technology is that can make a difference to security operations in mines, as well as general operations.