National Union of Mineworkers protects

National Union of Mineworkers protects headquarters by
integrating IP video, access control and biometric
fingerprint readers
Camsecure has designed and implemented a high-tech security solution for the
safety of people and information by integrating Milestone XProtect® IP video
management software with Suprema Access control, Suprema fingerprint
readers, and Axis network surveillance cameras.
Challenges of downtown crime and political threats
The National Union of Mineworkers is a large collective
bargaining agent representing workers in the mining,
construction and electrical energy industries in South Africa, and
an affiliate of COSATU (the Congress of the South African Trade
Unions). NUM has offices in all the South African provinces and
is internationally affiliated to the 20-million-strong International
Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers'
Unions (ICEM).
Kgalema Motlanthe, the former President of South Africa, was
also previously secretary general of the National Union of
Mineworkers (NUM), whose 380,000 members are the core of
the nation's economic foundation. Johannesburg was known as
‘the city of gold' with an economy built on gold and mining, so
the very history of this country's development finds its resources
here. Today, it is also famous as world producer of other
valuable metals, as well as diamonds.
The NUM headquarters are located in a multiple-story brick building in downtown
Johannesburg, an urban area well known for its crime risks. The political nature of the union's
activities and strong relationships with the African National Congress make the need for
security even more intense.
Best-in-class open platform solution
Camsecure has designed and implemented a total security solution with the open platform of
Milestone XProtect® Enterprise IP video management software integrated with Suprema access
control, Suprema biometric fingerprint readers, and 50 Axis network cameras.
Axis vandal-resistant dome cameras are used on the street-side of the building, as opposed to
normal cameras that can be knocked out of place. In the parking lot, Axis day/night cameras
have been installed in polycarbonate housings with cable-managed brackets, so there are no
cables exposed. The parking lot entrance camera logs all the vehicle number plates to keep
track of the time each vehicle enters and exits. There are cameras in all the stairwells of the
large building, inside and outside every door throughout the building and up on the roof. The
fire escape at the back is also well covered by security cameras.
NUM owns three buildings in the vicinity but have rented out two of them to the Department of
Correctional Services and the Johannesburg water utility. These buildings will be added at a
later stage as the system grows.
"There's a security risk because it's so close to neighboring buildings where people could hop
over and come down the stairwell. However, each floor is a security unit on its own that has its
own cameras and access control (setups) so although people who are allowed in the building
can move vertically up and down the central stairwell, they cannot enter the offices on each
floor without assigned access to the integrated systems that allow lateral movement in the
building," explains Francois Malan, Managing Director of Camsecure.
Integrated security system with leading edge technology
"It's a complex site. For higher security there are cameras installed on
both sides of each door, a finger reader on the inside and outside of
each door, as well as an emergency button. There are cameras with
views of the lifts as people enter each floor and the passageways. The
reason for this is that if someone tries to sabotage a fingerprint reader
or other equipment, knock out the glass on a door, or break
emergency glass, we can see who it is," explains Malan.
He continues: "We also have another system in place whereby if a
door is left open for more than one minute, an alarm sounds with an
irritating noise that forces them to close it, but at the same time it
logs an alert in the access control system so we can see who left the
door open through the Milestone XProtect video software link. Any
door that is left open is a security risk and we need to know about it
to correct it as soon as possible."
Protecting the union's leadership
One of the floors in the headquarters building is the executive wing for the union, which is
particularly sensitive.
"Our first challenge is in terms of access, to protect the union leadership. As part of the
federation called COSATU, NUM is in alliance with the ruling party, the African National
Congress (ANC). All the secretary generals of the ANC come from this union, so if anyone
wants to kill the ANC, they must first dilute this union. It is a target. That's why it's so
important for us to have such strict control over the access to this building and Camsecure has
helped us with this," says Mr. Thulani Tshozana, Risk Manager at NUM.
There were a lot of incidences when an opposition party was formed and targeted NUM.
Violence was instigated in the mines with the purpose to destabilize the union, for being the
backbone of the ANC and COSATU.
"They wrongfully told NUM members that NUM was blocking their access to death benefit
funds, which created violent incidents, including people coming to the offices to threaten the
leadership and harm them physically. There have been attacks in
the past," relates Thulani.
Strict access control brings greater safety and protection
Another security threat is to protect the information in the
offices across the country. The role of NUM is very important:
they control the heart of the labor that drives the nation's
economy – if there is a strike it can bring the country to its
knees. NUM is also responsible for raising the working conditions
for their members – protecting their health and occupations.
"The significance of adding the biometric fingerprint readers lies
in the ability to ensure that the person who goes through the
doors is who they are – people can lose access control cards or
have them stolen. We need to be 100 percent sure who is entering a door. That's why the
video is there as well, to double-check," says Francois Malan. "It can also be an administrative
nightmare to deal with hundreds of thousands of cards. So the fingerprint integration is more
efficient and effective. It promotes accountability."
Thulani remembers problems with more cards being issued than the number of people who
should have access.
"Being such a sensitive time in the country's political history with people changing parties,
information is of very high value. If anyone on the site is suspected for any reason, we can
type in their name to track and analyze their movements in the system," says Francois.
"This is one of the highest security systems implemented. If anything happens, we can have
an alarm (alert) issued - both audible and on the system. In addition to the alarms when a
door is left open, if someone sets off a fire alarm, it triggers an event on the system so we get
an alert immediately in the Suprema Access software, which is integrated with Milestone, so
we can see the video evidence of the incidents. Through rules we've set up in the software, we
can see the list of events easily. We know who has done anything, when and where," explains
Francois Malan.
"Yet you can still have trust with the employees through making people accountable: the
cameras show when the trust has been broken. They also reassure the people who work here
that they are safe," adds Francois Malan.
Old security system not effective
"Previously we only had CCTV systems that were not effective. It was operated from the
president's office and he would often be travelling on business, and others did not have access
to the system if it was needed. My position was newly created so I started from scratch, and
this new system from Camsecure is in its first phase," says Thulani. "We are creating a whole
new total security plan."
Edward Majadibodu, the head of production, deals with safety, education and women's
development. He is also the chairman of the Procurement Committee who had to approve the
purchase of the new security system. He says: "We have experienced challenges in the past of
theft and other practices so this new security system is a major improvement, especially with
the strong access control, only for those who are approved to be here."
"The building underwent extensive renovations and we were installing at the same time,"
recalls Malan. "I remember one incident when someone lost a cell phone in the bathroom, by
leaving it behind. When he realized this ten minutes later, he went back but it was gone. We
were able to type his name into the system in the Suprema Access control, see the Milestone
video link at the time when he went through that door, then see who went in after him. He
was one of the workers doing the building renovations. We followed that guy on the system
with the Axis cameras through the building into the basement where we apprehended him and
got the phone back."
"This new system is very effective," states Thulani. "The fact that it can be viewed wherever
you are with network access and the proper access is good. Recordings are kept up to two
months, so we can always find evidence. We are very pleased with the system that Camsecure
designed especially for our needs."
Fingerprint biometrics integrated with access control and video
Every employee's fingerprint is registered in the biometric
enrolment unit that sends a code for them to the Suprema
Access control. Thereafter, security operators and managers can
go into the Suprema Access software to look up any employee
and see their activities, or look at event lists to analyze or check
any alarms or incidences.
Here they can click on the camera icon to link up to the Milestone
XProtect video and see what occurred, or export evidence, if
needed. The Milestone XProtect IP video management software
also manages the Axis cameras, their setups and recording
schedules by groups and locations.
"The system allows flexible searching by person, by door or camera locations, and by category
like ‘access denied' to check a log of exceptions. The reporting capacity in Suprema Access is
also very good, by person or event," states
Managers on different floors are given individual
access by floor or by specific cameras groups,
relevant to their responsibilities. In future, they
can roll out the system by easily expanding the
dedicated networks security solution to the
regional offices throughout the country; those can
be viewed locally or centrally at headquarters.
"And I've got a laptop so I can also view the
system from home - even watch the traffic to find
the best time to go in to the office!" laughs
Other security plans include the installation of a metal detector at the main entrance of the
headquarters. Camsecure will design this to link cameras with the detector through the
Milestone XProtect video management software to trigger an alarm in the Milestone XProtect
interface to let security know that someone has gone through who is a potential threat. There
was a stabbing in the past, in fact, and such an incident can then be avoided.
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