Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has invested R843-million in a new port security system to safeguard customer cargo, port users and Transnet’s own port assets, staff and contractors.
“The National Ports Act 12 of 2005 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code of 2004 dictate that we, as a port authority, implement measures to assist in detecting security threats and take preventive measures against security incidents that may affect ships or port facilities used in international trade,” said TNPA CEO Richard Vallihu.
The upgraded security system was being rolled out across TNPA’s eight South African commercial ports and its head office in Johannesburg.
“Closed-circuit television (CCTV) is but one aspect of our broader integrated technological security system, which encompasses technology, skills, systems and procedures,” noted TNPA head of port security portfolio Phumzi Sigasa.
The CCTV system would be integrated between all port sites and TNPA’s head office to give a bird’s eye view of the port security environment. It comprised 2 100 high-definition cameras across the various sites – more than double the previous 864 – as well as long-range cameras to monitor all port channel entrances and outer anchorages.
The newly renovated control room, located at the Port of Durban, was the first to go live this month. It included video walls for added visibility across the port. Vehicle security within the port perimeters would also be enhanced through licence plate recognition.
The system would also facilitate increased night visibility through thermal imaging that could detect heat emitted by objects or bodies, especially in low visibility areas and through smoke, fog and haze.
The high-tech security system would further entrench the position of South African ports as “smart ports”.
Other notable “smart” port systems included the Web-based Integrated Port Management System, which was rolled out across all eight ports last year, enabling key port operations to be managed online and in real time.
TNPA was also considering ways to make the ports more people centric and accessible to the public while still maintaining safety and security.