In the heart of Hillbrow

Access & Identity Management Handbook 2005 Access Control & Identity Management

Project scope

The Ponte Building in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, has 470 apartments and 2200 residents.

Two main access points, previously controlled by a tag access control system, were replaced by the Accsys Biometric access control system.

The history

The Kempston Group owns and manages the Ponte Building in Hillbrow, and was faced with a barrage of challenges including high levels of crime, break-ins and overcrowding. The situation was largely due to inadequate restrictions as far as access to the building (incorporating 470 apartments) was concerned.

It soon became apparent that residents, in the process of moving out, were selling access tags on the streets.

The tag system was clearly not up to the task, as a tag could be easily acquired by anyone. The tag system relied on people's vigilance and simply could not offer sufficient control over authorised access to the premises. A biometric system with more advanced mechanisms would be the only credible access control solution.

When the building featured a 98% occupancy and the water supply from Johannesburg Water could not suffice, it was clear that there was a dramatic overcrowding situation that had to be addressed. The Kempston Group had been investigating biometric access control solutions for two years prior.

The solution

The Kempston Group opted for the Accsys system because it offered the best solution for its requirements, ie, the prevention of overcrowding and theft, and monitoring traffic in and out of the building.

The Biometric Access Control System offered the benefit of immediate control and security, giving a totally secure method of identity verification which eliminates any unauthorised access to the building.

The benefits

With the previous system, the company only knew the details of the owner of each apartment. The new system gives information on every person in the building.

Challenges en route to a final solution

There were a few teething problems, mainly associated with the amount of people (2200) that had to be put on the system. This dictated that Kempston ran both the older access control system with tags and the new biometric scanner simultaneously during the switchover period, removing occupant tags as residents were registered on the biometric system. Making the two access control systems compatible, was also a slight complication.

Tenders, specs and implementation

Kempston requested three proposals and the head office in East London decided on the Accsys solution. The fingerprint scanning solution was specifically requested and it was also specified what the system had to be able to perform.

The company requested quotations for a biometric access control system in April based on the necessary related research by our IT department since July 2004. Accsys won the tender in June 2005.

In July registration forms were issued to all the residents and they were requested to provide the names and identity numbers of whoever lived in each apartment. It was arranged for them to register their fingerprints and details starting from the lower-level apartments right up to those at the top, this registration process started in August.

The implementation phase was expected to be completed by end September, after which the tag system for access control would have been discontinued.

The results

The registration process highlighted several situations in which residents were evidently in breach of contract ie, owners that, in fact, did not live in apartments and there were incidents of overcrowding.

In the process of addressing these issues, the living conditions for tenants were also improved. Some people were compelled to move out and seek alternative accommodation, or had to move to another apartment in the same building.

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions:

Biometric system: Accsys, Teryl Schroenn, 011 719 8000, jfullam@jhb.accsys.co.za

Turnstiles: Turnstar, Mark Eardley, 011 786 1633, mark@turnstar.co.za

Kempston Group, Danie Celliers, 011 402 9121, ponte@kempston.co.za



Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Choosing the right biometric technology in the new normal
Issue 9 2020, IDEMIA , Access Control & Identity Management
Selecting the right biometric data that delivers according to your requirements is crucial to ongoing success. So, how do we select the appropriate biometrics to meet our needs?

Read more...
Containerised temporary physical security solutions
Issue 9 2020, Turnstar Systems , Products
Turnstar Systems has developed a temporary physical access security solution that provides an affordable mobile solution for controlling access.

Read more...
Keeping COVID in check
Issue 8 2020, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Healthcare (Industry)
Suprema thermal camera solution helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 in South Korea in a focused healthcare approach from government.

Read more...
Scorpion Spike Barriers for St Helena Bay
Issue 8 2020, BoomGate Systems , Access Control & Identity Management
The Port of St Helena Bay, along the west coast of South Africa, gets a security upgrade in the form of the Scorpion High Security Spike Barrier.

Read more...
Gallagher unveils new T30 access reader
Issue 8 2020, Gallagher , Access Control & Identity Management
Gallagher has launched the new T30 card and PIN reader with two-factor authentication, designed to offer an extra layer of security without the display screen.

Read more...
Speeding into the office
Issue 8 2020, Turnstar Systems , Access Control & Identity Management
The Firs commercial property is situated in the heart of Rosebank – Johannesburg’s second largest business centre – surrounded by new commercial, residential and retail property developments. Rosebank ...

Read more...
Paxton introduces Checkpoint Control
Issue 8 2020, Paxton , Access Control & Identity Management
Paxton’s new Checkpoint Control feature supports COVID-secure sites and helps Net2 users protect employees and visitors by monitoring and approving people as they enter buildings.

Read more...
Turnstar secures MTN
Issue 8 2020, Turnstar Systems , Access Control & Identity Management
Turnstar Velocity barriers and Velocity Raptor spike vehicle barriers form part of the physical access solutions that secure the MTN head office in Johannesburg.

Read more...
Net2 integrates with additional thermal scanners
Issue 8 2020, Paxton , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Paxton has updated Net2 to include six new thermal temperature scanning integrations to assist in managing the pandemic.

Read more...
Touchless access control conference
Issue 8 2020, Hikvision South Africa, IDEMIA , Suprema, Technews Publishing , Access Control & Identity Management, Conferences & Events, Training & Education
Hi-Tech Security Solutions hosted an online conference in mid-August to highlight the new trend towards touchless access control. The conference hosted speakers with experience in the access control, ...

Read more...