Safeguarding a sanctuary

November 2006 Access Control & Identity Management

The history

Hatfield Christian Church in Pretoria had been experiencing theft and vandalism in spite of having a full time security company on site. In addition, venues and equipment were being misused.

"We needed greater control over who had access to the building and when," explains Ross Blignaut. "The limited and uncontrolled flow of people through the building on a daily basis and at all hours of the day and night is what forced us to look at access control - when no one was around. Our venues were being misused and equipment was being stolen. Safety for staff working after hours was also a consideration."

The solution

A six-point access control system using iGuard Terminals was chosen to ensure that the most effective, flexible and scalable solution was implemented to create a greater locus of control over venues and associated equipment as well as full knowledge of who had access to zoned-off areas - either on a temporary or permanent basis.

The challenges

"Finding a solution with the pricing, functionality and type of technology that provided the best fit for the organisation was the initial challenge," explains Blignaut. "Then, the paradigm of moving from free movement or flow with a building to that of limited access. One of the iGuard units was vandalised within days of going live, but was replaced by Colossal Distributors within 24 hours. Schedule dates for capturing of fingerprints were not adhered to due to people being on leave, unavailable etc. We reached this goal by providing an 'as-and-when-you-can' approach after the main batch was handled and then created a sense of urgency in people by setting a go live date.

"The installation of the equipment and network points on our LAN by our own staff in terms of wireless access points, signal strength as well as UPS and correct power supply proved challenging. However, we now have full ownership and can manage the total solution with in-house expertise."

Fact file

Hatfield Christian Church, Ross Blignaut, +27 (0) 12 368 2331,

Colossal Distributors, Drew Richards, +27 (0) 11 466 0745,

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