SA technology 'cleaning-up' Hillbrow

October 2004 Access Control & Identity Management

DEX Security Solutions was approached six months ago to help solve many of the problems affecting Hillbrow in Johannesburg.

The problem

Hillbrow is notorious as one of SA's largest crime areas where drugs, prostitution and slumlords flourish. The area is infested with dilapidated, filthy and overpopulated flats, the latter of which often results in property being rented and then sub-let. It has become the breeding-ground for danger.

The solution

DEX was asked to involve itself in the efforts to stabilise the chaos and crime in Hillbrow through access control.

The task of DEX Security Solutions was to register tenants individually per flat and then monitor and manage their access from a cable-free central control system at head office.

The result is that no person can enter the building without having been positively identified. DEX supplies biometric fingerprint scanners as well as the management system for special spiralgate access control. This ensures that only lawful tenants, whose fingerprints match those in the system, can gain access to the buildings. A simple, practical management system also controls visitors.

"We are past the first phase, which is normally the most difficult," says Garth Odendaal, project manager of DEX. "Some practical problems manifested themselves at ground level and the necessary adjustments and adaptations were done."

Odendaal says it is much more than a security system, but rather a centralised security and management system, based on GSM cellphone technology. Consequently no cables need to be installed and no wide-area networks are required.

The result

By being able to positively identify tenants, overpopulation and the ensuing crime are ruled out to a large extent. Under the previous access control systems it was not uncommon for 20 people to live in a single bachelor flat.

The solution supplied centralises and simplifies the management of the buildings, while keeping costs at a minimum.

As a parallel control measure, video is also still being used to manage and solve specific identified problems.

The access control of 14 buildings in Hillbrow is already managed by the DEX security management system. By the end of the year, some 20 buildings and about 15 000 people will be managed in this way.

There are options

Some organisations choose to combine GSM and normal cable-connected units. In such cases the controlroom is in one of the buildings, while other buildings are controlled from that single controlroom as well. This means that the system in this building is connected by cable, while the other buildings are controlled by means of GSM technology.




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