Safety for students

October 2005 Access Control & Identity Management

Project scope

Ensuring the safety and security of 65 000 people occupying 110 buildings under the auspices of the University of the Witwatersrand.

The history

Wits University needed to upgrade the access control at its campuses and the institutions that fall under it - including the Wits Business School, Medical School and the medical students at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. Originally the university had an entirely open campus as it was a public area, but because of crime in the area that had to change.

The goal and benefits

The security and access control measures put in place were intended to create a more secure environment for learners and staff without being too restrictive or intrusive and to only let authorised people into the specific areas they are allowed to enter.

The cards that grant access are not used just for that. In the case of a student it is linked to various facilities within the grounds and/or buildings of the university. The outermost security measures include pedestrian turnstiles and booms for motor vehicles - this card opens both of these. Once inside the perimeter fencing, the card allows access to the buildings via turnstiles monitored by CCTV. Once inside the buildings, the cards allow access to more secure and restricted parts of the buildings, cardholders are identified and allowed access to predetermined areas. The cards also serve as debit cards against which food can be bought, photocopies made as well as laser printing. The cards are also used for the Wits' Meal Booking system for catered residence students among others.

Obstacles en route to a final solution

The main hiccup in the system comes when students finish an academic year and are required to re-register on the system at the start of a new year. They cannot all be deleted from the system at the end of the year as they would then not be able to gain access the following year in order to register again, so there is an overlapping period until after registration.

The result

Vehicle theft from the campus parking lots dropped from around 17 a month prior to the seal-off down to less than 17 a year since access has been controlled.

Within the confines of the campus, students are in a safer environment and equipment in the various departments is more secure due to the turnstiles at entry points into each room containing valuable equipment. Many facilities are now available to students 24 hours a day.

Fact file

Key service providers, products and solutions:

Diebold South Africa, Christa Kensley, 011 348 2941.

Blick South Africa, Mike Lotter, 011 844 3200.

Turnstar, Mark Eardley, 011 786 1633.

Boomgate, Andre Rossouw, 011 769 1677.

University of the Witwatersrand, Giles Watermeyer, 011 717 1870.


Credit(s)





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

The benefits of electronic visitor management
August 2019, Powell Tronics , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Access control is a critical aspect of estate security as it represents the controls put in place to restrict entry (and possibly exit) along the outer boundary of the location.

Read more...
Addressing risks by means of access control layout and design
August 2019 , Access Control & Identity Management, Security Services & Risk Management
In order to develop a suitable, practical and appropriate security system for any organisation, it is essential to first develop a master security and life safety plan strategy.

Read more...
Secure hands-free access
August 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
Suprema’s facial biometric terminals bring no-touch access into secure residential estates, high-rise apartments and luxury homes providing fast, easy and intuitive user authentication with the added benefit of hygiene.

Read more...
MorphoAccess Sigma Extreme
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
MorphoAccess Sigma Extreme from IDEMIA is a touchscreen device with multiple recognition device interfaces (NFC chip reader, PIN and BioPIN codes, contactless card readers).

Read more...
Outdoor access terminals
August 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry), Products
Rugged, dust- and weather-proof access control solutions that provide exceptional durability in extreme conditions is a strong requirement for many residential estates.

Read more...
MorphoWave Compact
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
The MorphoWave Compact captures and matches four fingerprints on either the right or left hand in any direction. It is robust to environmental factors such as extreme light or dust.

Read more...
MorphoAccess Sigma Lite
August 2019, IDEMIA , Products, Access Control & Identity Management
IDEMIA’s MorphoAccess Sigma Lite and Lite + are fingerprint access control terminals, offering time and attendance in and out function keys.

Read more...
Eliminating forced gate opening scenarios
August 2019, ET Nice , Home Security, Access Control & Identity Management
When activated by the gate forced open alarm feature, the transmitter transmits a wireless alarm signal up to 750 metres in any direction.

Read more...
IAM has business on high alert
August 2019 , Access Control & Identity Management
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is now a must in commerce and the need to protect digital assets is driving the development of solutions and widespread adoption

Read more...
Came acquires Turkish company Özak
August 2019, CAME BPT South Africa , News, Access Control & Identity Management
Came broadens its market horizons and signals growth and consolidation in the Middle East.

Read more...